According to a notification from the state transport department, the reduced fares applied to all eight state transport corporations will be effective from Monday morning.
In the revised structure, a ticket on Chennai’s public buses will cost between Rs 4 and and Rs 22, against the earlier rate of Rs 5 to Rs 23, according to The Hindu. For mofussil buses, the minimum fare is Rs 4 against the old rate of Rs 5 and the maximum rate is Rs 18, down from Rs 19. The revised fares apply to long-distance buses too, the government said.
However, with fares only reduced by Rs 1, the Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has called the rollback an “eyewash”, and announced state-wide agitations on Monday, PTI reported.
“We have demanded complete rollback of increase in bus fares,” DMK Working President MK Stalin said in Chennai. Stalin was detained by the police, however, he refused to get inside the police van and instead, walked to a nearby event hall, reported News18.
Meanwhile, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Vaiko led protests at Saidapet in Chennai. “It is a huge burden on the poor and salaried people,” he said, according to NDTV. The losses are due to “corruption and mismanagement in the state transport corporations”, he added.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the government has reduced the fares after demands from opposition parties and the public. He said the fares were increased to keep up with the rise in fuel prices, to help cover the cost of new buses and to increase workers’ salaries. He also blamed the DMK for the increase in bus fare.
“The DMK had pledged Transport Corporation assets when it was in power,” he said, according to News18. “Protests by the opposition parties is only to exert pressure on the government.”
Earlier this month, transport unions in the state protested work for eight days, demanding that their wages be increased. They withdrew their strike on January 11, after the government agreed to a 2.44-times raise.