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People cry foul after STA hikes fares of auto-rickshaws, buses

A day after the State Transport Authority (STA) revised the fare of auto-rickshaws, buses, Vikrams and cabs, commuters in Dehradun felt the pinch

dehradun Updated: Aug 01, 2018 23:06 IST
Nittika Kakkar
Nittika Kakkar
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand News
Vikrams plying on Chakrata Road in Dehradun on Wednesday.(Vinay Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)

A day after the State Transport Authority (STA) revised the fare of auto-rickshaws, buses, Vikrams and cabs, commuters in Dehradun felt the pinch.

Sevarl commuters complained that the hike was steep and would entail an additional financial burden. “I take a Vikram from Clock Tower to Balliwala Chowk and then a bus to go to Premnagar. Today, I paid Rs 4 more than what I generally pay per trip. It may seem like a small amount but it will cost me Rs 240 extra every month now. For someone like me, that’s a lot,” said Yoginder, a 46-year-old daily wage labourer.

“I paid Rs 14 while travelling from ISBT to Clock Tower. Till yesterday, I used to pay Rs 10. If the fare had to be increased, they could have gradually increased it. This is too much at one go,” said Sarika Singh, a student.

However, some others said the increase was palatable. “I am a housewife and I travel by Vikram to pick my daughter from school every day. I used to pay Rs 8 per person, now I have to pay Rs 9. It is not too much considering the fare has been increased after a long time,” said Ritwija Jain.

The revised fares were announced on Tuesday. While passengers could earlier travel upto five kilometers by paying Rs 5 in city buses, they will now be only able to travel up to two kilometers on that fare. For five kilometers, they will now have to pay Rs 10.

The Vikram fare has also been increased from Rs 8 per kilometer to Rs 9 per km. Minimum fare of autos has also increased from Rs 15 to Rs 23. The fare was last increased in 2013.

As per the officials at the regional transport office (RTO), around one lakh people travel by the 292 city buses in Dehradun every day. Another one lakh use the 794 Vikrams and 2300 autos for their travel in the city.

Assistant Transport Commissioner SK Singh said the increase in fare was due from quite some time. “There is a mechanism which is followed for increasing the fare. There are certain indicators which are measured from the last time fare was increased to now. One of the biggest components is fuel price. Consumer Price Index (CPI) is also one of them,” Singh said.

“A committee was formed under the Chairmanship of RTO Pauri, which examined all the factors and also heard the representation by vehicle owners. The committee found that the CPI had increased by 33 per cent from 2013 to now. Other factors had also seen an increase by over 25 per cent. So the committee recommended increasing the fare by 25 per cent,” Singh added.

However, STA felt that 25 per cent might be too taxing for the people and increased the fare by around 15 per cent, Singh said.

To avoid the problem of excessive fare hike at one time, STA has decided to revise the fares annually and implement them from the beginning of every financial year.

First Published: Aug 01, 2018 23:05 IST