BELAGAVI: Under pressure to reduce bus fares following steep reduction in diesel price, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said in Belagavi on Wednesday that fare reduction would be announced before the conclusion of the ongoing legislature session.
He has asked officials to work out on the quantum of reduction depending upon the actual expenditure and revenues.
Sources in the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) confirmed this and said officials were working on the proposal. “If we do not reduce the fares, we would lose out to private operators,” a source said.
The issue is said to have come up during the Congress Legislature Party meeting held in Belagavi and Mr. Reddy conveyed to the Chief Minister that in the wake of continued demand for reduction of bus fares, he had asked the Principal Secretary to look into the matter. According to indications, the fare reduction is likely to be in the range of Rs. 1 to Rs. 2 a stage of public transport buses.
While Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is facing stiff competition from autorickshaws and radio-taxi operators, and KSRTC, NWKRTC and NEKRTC have to compete with private operators — authorised as well as unauthorised, sources said.
The four State road transport corporations had increased fares in April–May after diesel price touched Rs. 60 a litre in March. The diesel price reached Rs. 64.07 a litre on August 31 in Bengaluru. However, diesel price has reduced since then.
While the overall difference in diesel price is Rs. 9.19 a litre between August and December, it is Rs. 5.12 a litre from the time of the last fare revision for the RTCs. But the RTCs get diesel at Rs. 1.42 less than the retail price.
The BMTC, on April 24, increased fares by over 15 per cent. The other three RTCs increased fares by about 7 per cent on May 4.