Kolkata, Sep 29: As bus, minibus and taxi operators in West Bengal threatened an indefinite strike if fares were not immediately raised in the wake of the abrupt Rs.5 hike in diesel prices, state Transport Minister Madan Mitra Saturday remained non-committal about increasing the fares.
The union government had hiked diesel prices by Rs.5 a litre and capped supply of subsidised cooking gas cylinders to six per family per year. The decisions came into effect midnight Thursday (Sep 13).
From Sep 17 to Sep 20, bus operators in the state had gone on strike demanding an immediate bus fare hike. Mitra later assured the bus operators of a fare hike and convinced them to withdraw the strike.
“He had assured us that he will see to it that bus and taxi fares are raised but nothing has been done. Now he is saying there are no chances of a bus fare hike. We will wait for a few more days, after which we will stop plying on roads,” said Suman Guha, vice-president, Bengal Taxi Association
“As of now we can’t commit to any bus fare hike. There will be a state cabinet meeting Oct 8. After that, we will see what can be done,” Mitra told reporters.