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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Pay more for short distance bus travel from April 1

Prajakta Chavan Rane, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, November 23, 2012
First Published: 00:40 IST(23/11/2012) | Last Updated: 00:42 IST(23/11/2012)

Commuters travelling short distances such as 2 and 3 kilometers in a civic bus will have to shell out Rs. 1 and Rs. 5 more from April 1, 2013.

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The proposal of increasing the tariff for the first two slabs was sanctioned by the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) committee in a six-hour long budget meeting on Thursday.

The fare hike will affect 70% of bus passengers who fall in the short-distance category, comprising students, college and office goers.

The tariff hike proposal is part of the BEST budget that has been approved and sent to the standing committee, from where it will go to the general body where it will come into effect if it receives sanctions.

For ordinary, limited, express and AC express buses, the tariff hike of Rs. 1 has been proposed only for the first two slabs, while for AC buses, the Rs. 5 hike has been suggested at all levels.

"Owing to the recent hike in diesel and CNG, the BEST is in a debt of Rs20-Rs25crore and Rs5.5 crore respectively. This will affect over 60% passengers, but to balance the increased burden this hike has to be enforced," said Ashok Patil, BEST chairman.

The fare has been hiked to cover huge losses of the BEST transport wing.

"The transport wing has suffered Rs. 100 crore losses for operating and maintaining the AC fleet that caters to 9 lakh, (hardly 1%) of 12 crore passengers annually. For this 1%, we are burdening 99% of our passengers, which is absolutely unfair," said Kedar Hombalkar, BEST committee.

The revenue accounts statement presented in past by the undertaking, stated a huge loss to the undertaking, the transport wing and the supply wing.

The pending bill amount in the city is Rs. 70.50 crore, including residential, industrial and commercial outstanding.


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