BHOPAL: The Bhopal City Link Limited (BCLL), which runs, what are popularly known as ‘Lal Buses’ in the capital wants the local RTO to raise the fare charges by them but surprisingly, private transport vehicle operators are opposing the demand, claiming the fare is already too high.

Bhopal RTO Sunil Rai Saxena informed Free Press that a meeting was held on November 22 on the instructions of the district collector regarding annual fare revision. The private bus operators were asked to submit their proposals. The last fare hike was effected on February 22, 2014. The CEO of BCLL Chandra Mouli Shukla said that the company wants a hike in the fares as fuel and maintenance costs have gone up .

“Although the bus fare was fixed some one-and-a-half years back, there is a need to increase it and the proposal is under process.” He added.

The private bus operators, however, are not amused. The president of Bhopal City Vehicle Service Owners Committee, Ganesh Singh Baghel alleged that the fare hike move was ‘conspiracy’ of the district administration, RTO and the BCLL.

The local buses are charging almost half of the fare charged by the BCLL buses. “They want to equalise the fares of the local and BCLL buses so that the local bus can be driven out from the market”.

He said that in 2014,  diesel was around Rs 64 per litre. Now it is around Rs 62 and hence the claim that fuel cost has gone up is hollow. Another bus operator ML Sharma alias Mama also alleged that the hike effected last time was also changed in unjustifiably. Yet another bus operator Ilias Ismail claimed that the fees charged by the transport department had gone up and that had increased the operational cost.

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