Private bus owners had already staged a token strike on Dec 14 to increase the charges
Minimum bus charge in Kerala will be hiked to Rs 7 from the existing Rs 6. A report of Justice C Ramachandran Commission today recommended an increase in fares, including the minimum charge.
The commission submitted its report to transport minister Aryadan Mohammed and the government would take a decision on this soon.
Private bus owners had already staged a token strike on Dec 14 to increase the charges. They had announced an indefinite strike from Friday onwards, but withdrawn in the light of the commission’s report.
The commission also recommended to increase the per km charge by 5 paise, which will go up to 63 paise/km. In November, 2012, the per km charge was increased from 55 paise to 58 paise. Currently, Kerala charges the highest fare in South India. In Tamil Nadu the per km ticket price is 42 paise and the minimum bus ticket price is Rs 3 only. The minimum bus charge in Karnataka is Rs 4.50.
Various organisations of bus operators in Kerala have sought a hike in minimum fare to Rs 8. In their representations to the commission, they said increase in diesel price and hike in other expenses, including labour charges, had made the service unviable. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation too had demanded an increase in fares.