Finally, govt nod to fair bus fare hike

Amid widespread criticism from commuters after the recent bus fare hike, the state government on Friday revised the bus fare by sticking to the old distance slabs.

Earlier, under pressure of bus owners, the government had announced Re 1 hike for each of the distance slabs. However, it changed the old distance slabs by introducing new distance slabs, which accrued to commuters paying more than the hike they had expected. The Indian Express too had carried report how the change in distance slab led to the commuters paying more than Re 1 for the same distance travelled earlier.

On Friday, the government reverted to the old distance slabs of 0-4 km, 4-8km, 8-12 km, 12-16 km, 16-20 km and 20-24 km for bus plying within the limits of Kolkata after the Group of Ministers on transport held a meeting to review the hike amid growing public protests as commuters alleged that the government hiked bus fare indiscriminately. Such protests attracted attention of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who instructed Chatterjee to revise the fare structure afresh. In a late night announcement, Commerce and Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee, who heads the GoM, said from Saturday, passengers will have to pay Rs 5 for travelling up to first 4 kilometres.

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