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Home / Jharkhand / In time of unlock, bus operators talk of steep fare hikes

In time of unlock, bus operators talk of steep fare hikes

New rates coming soon, a Ranchi-Khunti ride already costs Rs 60
The bus depot at Bartand, Dhanbad
The bus depot at Bartand, Dhanbad
Telegraph picture

Our Correspondent   |   Ranchi   |   Published 29.08.20, 10:06 PM

Bus operators, who have been allowed to resume operations within the state, have indicated they would increase fares, substantially in certain routes, to make up for the losses they suffered during the five-month-long lockdown since March.

Jharkhand Bus Owners Association chief Arun Budhiya said on Saturday that the lockdown months had seen a hike in diesel prices and the state government had allowed only 50 per cent occupancy. “Considering all these aspects, there is no way other than increasing rates to sustain ourselves,” he said, adding that many vehicles had suffered wear and tear.

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Asked about the nature of hikes, Budhiya said they would decide soon. “Operators will take a call according to routes, taking all options into consideration,” he said.

Many operators started running some buses from Saturday. One operator, who was plying buses between Ranchi and Khunti, said that he had increased the fare by about Rs 20. “The Ranchi-Khunti fare is now about Rs 60. The association will decide on the final rates,” he said.

The state transport department also issued detailed SOPs for bus operators, mandating thermal scanning of every passenger before boarding, sufficient distance between passengers, and regular sanitisation of seats.

“Buses with valid road and route permits from the competent authority will only be allowed to ply on the streets,” said state transport secretary K. Ravikumar.  

The driver’s cabin should also be covered with plastic sheets. “The cabin around the driver’s seat should be covered by a plastic sheet and bus staff on-board are mandated to wear masks, gloves and face shields,” he said, adding that spitting or consuming tobacco in public would attract fines and/or punishment.

Also, bus operators have been advised to download the Arogya Setu app and told to keep detailed records of passengers. District administrations and civic bodies have been asked to ensure that bus stands are cleaned and sanitised. Officials of the district transport departments have been asked to conduct regular inspections. 



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