Deputy Chief Minister maintains that hiking it now will affect the public who are already suffering from effects of COVID-19
Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Transport Laxman Savadi made it clear that the State government will not hike bus fares, though fuel prices saw a considerable rise in recent times.
“Considering the rise of fuel prices in recent times, State-owned transport corporations have submitted proposals for a hike in bus fares. But the government would not accept it. The people are already in distress thanks to the disruptions caused by COVID-19 and natural calamities. Hiking the bus fares at the time of crisis will add to people’s woes,” he told mediapersons in Kalaburagi on Thursday.
Recalling the government’s announcement of providing 100 buses to each State-owned transport corporation in the last budget, Mr. Savadi said that the promise could not be met owing to the financial distress.
“In the last budget, we had promised to provide 100 new buses to each of the four State-owned transport corporation. We could not meet the promise as the State entered into financial crisis. The COVID-19 disrupted not just transport corporations, but also the government revenues. The operations of buses have mostly resumed. The situation is expected to come back to its normal position by the end of April this year. We are planning to provide 1,000 buses to NWRTC and NEKRTC this year,” Mr. Savadi said.
The Transport Minister also said that his department had planned to use old buses, after the required modifications, as toilets, daycare and breastfeeding centres at the district and the taluk bus stands.
When asked about the discontentment among the people of Kalyana Karnataka after the Union government’s expression of its intent to establish an All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Hubballi-Dharwad instead of Kalaburagi, Mr. Savadi said that the State government would see that no injustice would be done to the region.
“It is not correct to say the government is least concerned about the development of Kalyana Karnataka. Our government is committed to the region’s development. The Union government must have given AIIMS to Hubballi-Dharwad for development concerns. We will positively take the discontentment among the people of Kalyana Karnataka and do the needful to address it,” Mr. Savadi added.