The Tamil Nadu government has revised public and private bus transport fares with effect from Saturday, according to an official release. The rates have been revised for all services, including intercity and town and metro services across the State.
The fare hike follows a recent week-long strike by public transport workers that crippled transport services across the State.
Indexing method The release said a committee will be constituted to revise fares in the future. The revision will be based on an indexing method that will take into account fuel prices, operation and maintenance costs, and wage hike.
It has also introduced fees to provide for accident compensation and toll charges as part of the fare.
The public transport corporations operate 22,509 buses and employ 1.40 lakh persons. Over 2 crore passengers use the services with buses travelling a total of 88.64 lakh km daily.
Running on loss While operation and maintenance costs, fuel prices and wages have been going up, fares have not been revised since November 2011. Government-owned transport corporations are losing ₹9 crore daily and 75 per cent of the buses are more than six years old. The State government has compensated these corporations ₹ 12,059 crore in subsidy but they are burdened with accumulated losses of over ₹20,488 crore.
The government has pointed out in the release that the Madras High Court in an interim order on November 24, 2017, had said that fare revision is inevitable, given the economic factors.
The government has said that the revised fares for mofussil services range from ₹0.60 to ₹1.70 a km depending on the category of services. This is cheaper as compared with neighbouring Andhra Pradesh ₹63.70-182; Kerala ₹0.64-1.30; and Karnataka ₹0.59-1.90.
In towns and cities other than Chennai, the fares in Tamil Nadu range from ₹5 to ₹19. In Karnataka it is ₹5-18; and Andhra Pradesh ₹7-28. The government has also pointed out that as of July 2017, over 652 government buses are caught up in litigation and the transport corporations shell out about ₹12 crore in tolls monthly.
But these costs are not collected as part of the ticket fares. It will now create a separate fund for accident compensation and toll charges. All private bus operators will also have to create such a fund, the release said.
Speed governors will be installed in public transport vehicles, it added.
A fee of ₹1 for tickets up to ₹25 will be collected for urban and suburban services. On longer distances up to ₹ 501 or more on intercity fares the fee starts from ₹2 going up to ₹10.
Accident compensation will be paid immediately depending on the age of the victim. For loss of life the compensation ranges from ₹ 2.5 lakhs (1-15 years; and above 60 years of age) to ₹5 lakhs (16–60 years).
For simple injuries the compensation is ₹10,000-25,000; Head injuries ₹5 lakh; grievous injuries and fractures ₹1 lakh-2 lakh.
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