Govt will review bus fares only after private operators resume services: Bengal minister

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Kolkata, Jul 5 (PTI) West Bengal Transport Minister Firhad Hakim on Monday urged owners of private buses in the city to immediately resume services, following which their demand for a fare hike would be reviewed.

Hakim, following an hour-long meeting with private bus owners, said the proposal of increase in fares in the wake of rising fuel prices would be placed before Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

'The matter of fare hike will be discussed only after bus services are resumed. Bengal Bus Syndicate members were present at the meeting, and we have told them that their plea would be forwarded to the CM,' the minister told reporters.

However, Vice-President of the Syndicate Surajit Saha said the state government is not likely to effect a fare hike.

'We have come to know that the government will not allow a raise in fares. Continuing bus services in this situation will be a big loss for us.

'But, we shall not stop those who can resume operations despite the skyrocketing fuel prices,' Saha said.

State-run buses were back on the roads from July 1, after the state government ordered that taxis, auto-rickshaws and buses can ply with 50 per cent occupancy. PTI SCH RBT RBT

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