The Sena-BJP-led Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) that tried hard to avoid hike in bus fares for more than five years, will be forced to do so under pressure on Friday due to the hike in CNG and fuel prices.
A proposal to hike fare by Rs 2, taking the minimum fare to Rs 5, will be moved at the committee meeting on Friday.
Party leaders were reluctant keeping the 2012 civic elections in mind. However, the saffron alliance plans to make the move now and put the blame on the Centre. It is also proposing to ask a subsidy from the Centre to avoid a hike.
“We have sent the proposal to hike bus fares to the BEST Committee,” said BEST General Manager O.P. Gupta.
The minimum basic fare would be Rs 5 if the BEST committee passes the proposal.
A hike of Rs 40 and Rs 110 for monthly and quarterly bus pass respectively has been proposed. Currently, the monthly bus pass costs Rs 160 and the quarterly pass costs Rs 440.
“Due to an increase in prices of diesel and CNG, we had to think of increasing the fares. We tried convincing the Centre to provide subsidy to BEST but got no response, so we had to consider this step,” said BEST Chairman Sanjay Potnis.
The BEST cannot afford to bear further losses that are to the tune of Rs 300 crore faced by their transport department.
The Congress members in the BEST Committee are opposing this hike. “We will surely oppose the hike,” said Ravi Raja.