Busmen want steep hike in ticket fares

With rise in diesel prices, private bus owners in the State have demanded a hike in ticket fares by almost 100 percent.

In a meeting held on Wednesday at T B Cunha hall, the All Goa Private Bus Owners Association (AGPBOA) has demanded hike in fares from existing Rs 5 for the first three kilometers to Rs 10.

For the subsequent kilometers the Association has demanded 10 paisa hike from the existing 75 paisa to 85 paisa.

Addressing a press conference AGPBOA President Shailendra Phaldessai said the fare hike is necessary as the cost of diesel and spare parts have increased. “The fare for the first three kilometres should be Rs 10 while for the subsequent kilometres it should be 85 paise,” he said.

The Association on Thursday would be submitting its proposal to the Directorate of Transport.

During the meeting, the bus owners also opposed the bus replacement subsidy scheme introduced by the Transport Department.

AGBOA General Secretary Sudip Tamankar said the members wanted uniform subsidy of Rs 5 lakh for all kind of buses.

As per the scheme, 49-seater buses between 10-15 years will get subsidy of Rs 5 lakh, while 39-seater buses will get Rs 3.5 lakh. Subsidy for 49 seater buses between 15-20 years will be Rs 3.25 lakh as against the earlier amount of Rs 2.25 lakh, while 39 seaters will get Rs 2.75 lakh as against Rs 2 lakh. The 49-seater buses between 20-25 years will get Rs 2.75 lakh as against Rs 2 lakh and 39 seaters will get Rs 2.25 lakh compared to Rs 1.75 lakh earlier.

The 49-seater buses above 25 years will get subsidy of Rs 2.25 lakh against Rs 1.75 lakh given earlier, and Rs 1.75 lakh against Rs 1.25 lakh offered earlier. [H]