The Punjab government is likely to increase the bus fare soon as the two public transport bodies operating in the state have sent it proposals to this effect. Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) has sent a proposal of increasing the fare by up to 33.3% to the government.
The PRTC has requested the government to increase the fare from the existing 66 paise per kilometre to 88 paise per kilometre.
Corporation managing director DPS Kharbanda said the proposal was sent to the transport secretary on Friday evening.
Sources said the PRTC had urged the government to take a call soon as after the hike in diesel prices, the PRTC was suffering a loss of Rs 5 lakh daily as its daily expenditure on diesel, which was Rs 35 lakh earlier, had gone up to Rs 40 lakh.
Sources in the transport department said Punjab Roadways had also sent a similar proposal to the government.
"The proposal was the need of the hour as the PRTC cannot bear an additional monthly burden of Rs 1.5 crore," said Kharbanda.
The additional burden was likely to affect the distribution of pension and other allowances by the PRTC to its employees, sources said.
Though the transport secretary was not available for comment, a senior official in the department said the government was ready to increase the fare and a decision was likely in the next week.
Sources said the hike might be somewhere between 22% and 30%.
Transport minister Ajit Singh Kohar said while effecting the increase, the government would consider the common man.
Kohar said he would be in Chandigarh on Tuesday and a decision would be taken after consulting the chief minister and the deputy chief minister. Everything, including the needs of both public transport bodies, would be taken care of , he added.