BANGALORE: Be ready to pay more to travel by KSRTC from next week. Justifying the earlier BMTC fare hike, and denying any roll back,
transport minister R Ramalinga Reddy delivered another shocker on Friday – a fare hike of 8% on all types of KSRTC bus services.
The corporation’s expenditure has increased by Rs 207 crore due to hike in diesel prices and dearness allowance for employees. However, KSRTC did not divulge details about losses incurred till the current fiscal.
In Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi, state-run transport authorities run into losses of more than Rs 700 crore and yet these are either fully or partially absorbed by the respective state governments or municipal corporation. However, Reddy said the government was not planning on absorbing the losses of KSRTC and BMTC. In fact, sources told TOI that the BMTC’s demand to absorb losses was turned down several times by the government.
“I will speak to the chief minister to support BMTC in the next budget, to balance its losses at least. Anyway, the price hike is just Re 1 or Rs 2, which can be borne by the commuters,” he said.
On April 24, BMTC hiked the fares by 15%, becoming the costliest public bus service in the country. The fare per km was 42 paise in 2008-09 which now is 86 paise.
After the media pressurized to either absorb losses or exempt taxes, Reddy said that he will write to the regional transport authority to exempt BMTC from taxes like it has been done for bailing out North-East and North-West KSRTC from losses. BMTC paid Rs84.14 crore as motor vehicle tax during 2012-13 and Rs97.4 crores in 2013-14. This is alone 0.5 % increase.
Sources in the corporation however, criticized undertaking of construction projects like traffic and transit management centres and hinted at money being siphoned off from the traffic revenue by top order officials and ministers.