Himachal Pradesh private bus operators call for indefinite strike from Monday, demand increase in minimum fares
The strike has been called by the Himachal Pradesh private bus operators union.
Dharamsala: Around 3,500 private passenger buses will be off road indefinitely in Himachal Pradesh from Monday as operators press for their long-pending demands including increasing minimum fare, bus operators said on Saturday.
The strike has been called by the Himachal Pradesh private bus operators union. The union's president Rajesh Parashar said over 3,500 buses run by over 400 private operators will go on the indefinite strike from Monday for their demand to hike the minimum fare from Rs 3 to Rs 10 per person, on par with their counterparts in Punjab and Haryana.
The bus operators are also demanding 50 percent hike in fare and allowing buses more than five-year-old to ply in the state. Rajiv Mahajan, a bus operator in Dharamshala, said the minimum fare of Rs 3 was fixed when the price of diesel was Rs 48 a litre, the diesel price is now increased to Rs 74 per litre. It is now impossible to run the services on the old rates. He said that the state government also levies huge green tax from private operators which must be reduced.
Another bus operator Ajay Singh said most of the operators are under heavy bank loans and as per present conditions they can not even pay their EMIs. "Almost equal number of private and Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses are plying in the state. The state government's no response on our genuine demands has forced us to take such extreme step (of calling a strike)," he said.
The operators said they are also demanding that the state government roll back the decision to stop plying of buses which are more than five-year-old. The transport minister was unavailable to comment on this strike.
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