GUWAHATI, Oct 3 - Citing rise in prices of motor parts, insurance fee and salaries of the staff, the Assam government has justified the bus fare hike effected by private operators from today.
Replying to a zero hour notice brought by MLA Aminul Islam on a report published in The Assam Tribune, Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary today told the State Assembly that if the private operators have to run their business, the fare hike was necessary.
�The last time the fare was revised was in 2012. Since then, motor parts prices have increased by 68 per cent, insurance fee has gone up by 45 per cent, while the salaries of the staff have been raised by almost 54 per cent. This as well as the rise in prices of fuel has prompted the fare hike,� Patowary said.
The minister, however, claimed that the fares would go up by a maximum of 30 per cent. He also maintained that the bus fares in the State were one of the lowest in the country.
�In Assam, the fares in ordinary buses is 86 paise per km, in deluxe Rs 1.06 per km, in executive category Rs 1.23 and in Volvo Rs 1.40. This is one of the lowest in the country. In some states, the fare is as high as Rs 15 per km,� he said.
Patowary said the bus operators have told the government that it would be difficult to sustain their business, if the fares are not hiked. �Many youths are employed in the sector. So the fare hike is necessary. But the ASTC, despite running in loss, will not hike the fares,� he added.