The increase in diesel price has saddled the common man with immediate bus fare hike.
Buses plying within Patna, as well as outside the state from the capital and other districts, have increased their fares by Rs 3 to Rs 55.
Secretary of Bihar Motor Transport Federation Dhirendra Bharti said: “Fares of all routes, both short and long distances, have been increased. Information regarding this has been sent to the chief minister’s office and the transport commissioner.”
“We had no choice but to increase the fares of the buses. Buses plying within Patna, inter-districts and inter-state will see an increase in the fares with immediate effect. Fares of buses plying on short-distances (50km) have been increased by at least 25 per cent. The fares of long-distance buses have been increased by 20 per cent,” Bharti said. (See chart)
“The decision of diesel price hike is insensitive. It will have a negative effect on bus operators and commuters,” he added.
Starting Friday, a short-distance journey from Patna to Hajipur will cost Rs 15 against the earlier Rs 10. Similarly, buses plying within Patna district like Khagaul and Danapur will charge Rs 13 against the earlier Rs 10.
“Passengers from Patna to Darbhanga used to pay Rs 100 but they will now have to cough up Rs 20 extra. Similarly, from Patna to Betiah, the fare will be Rs 160. Earlier, it was Rs 135,” the official said.
Around 10,000 buses travel within the districts of the state every day. The number of inter-state buses is around 1,000. An equal number of buses ply in different areas of Patna district daily.
After the hike was announced, frequent travellers were a distraught lot.
“This (the hike in diesel prices) is a bad decision. We are already bogged down under inflation. How can we pay more? Fuel prices are hiked almost every fortnight. There’s no relief for the common man,” said a visibly angry Aseem Banerjee, a businessman, who frequently visits Jamshedpur from Patna in buses.
Autorickshaw owners are also mulling to increase the fare. However, a decision regarding a fare hike would be taken on Saturday.