The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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State meet to resolve bus fare anomalies

The state government is working on a proposal to remove the discrepancies in the fare structures of private and state buses.

Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty has convened a meeting in June to discuss the issue with Calcutta State Transport Corporation (CSTC) and South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC).

According to motor vehicle rules, fares for local state and private buses have to be uniform. Charges for special and long-distance state buses, however, are different. “We have noticed some discrepancies in the fares of state and private buses on certain routes,’’ said a senior SBSTC official. For instance, the private bus fare from Salt Lake’s BD Market to Shyambazar is Rs 3.50, while state buses charge Rs 4.50 for the same distance. The state bus fare from Esplanade to Thakurpukur is also higher than that of private buses, the official explained.

“Complaints are pouring in from commuters who have to shell out more money to travel in state buses on routes covered by private buses as well. The fare charts of both state and private buses need to be reviewed,” said a transport department official.

Minister Chakraborty said on Saturday that he had also received complaints about ticket rates of special and long-distance buses. “We will sort out the problems,’’ he added.

“It is not possible for the transport department to prepare route-wise fare charts for over 500 routes. We can formulate the policy, the minimum fare and the subsequent rates,’’ said a transport department official.

The regional transport authorities and the public vehicles department prepare the fare chart for private buses. For state buses, the chart is drawn up by the corporation concerned. The CSTC and SBSTC run buses over 200 routes in and around the city.

Sources said, a fresh fare structure slashing the existing rates is on the anvil, following the slump in the diesel price. A decision will be taken after the Assembly by-election.

Dacoits rounded up: Nine dacoits, including the kingpin, were arrested by Sonarpur police from Ramchandrapur early on Saturday. Police intercepted the Champahati-bound truck in which the youths were travelling after receiving a tip-off that the miscreants had plans to rob UBI’s Champahati branch.

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