CHENNAI: Transport Minister SS Sivasankar on Monday dismissed as ‘rumours’ even as reports of bus fare hikes were doing the rounds on social media.
“As per the inter-state agreement condition, if a state hikes bus fare, other states buses entering that state have to hike the fare as well. The inter-state bus permits were issued based on that. Both Kerala and Andhra Pradesh have hiked the fares, so Tamil Nadu buses entering those states will charge on par with fare fixed by those states. Confusing with this, rumours have been spread that the bus fares have been hiked for all the buses in the State,” Sivasankar clarified in a statement.
Earlier inaugurating the Ariyalur-Veppur and Akaram Sikur-Kunnam services in Perambalur, Sivasankar told media persons that there have been some information about bus fare hikes doing rounds on the social media but certainly, it was wrong information.
“Since the neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh and Kerala have increased the fare recently, our state-run buses operating to those states need to increase fare as per the inter-state bus operating agreement. However, Chief Minister MK Stalin has not given any nod to the list prepared by the officials,” the Transport Minister stressed.
The minister blamed the ‘wrong policies’ adopted by the previous AIADMK government for the crisis the staterun transport corporation is facing.
“The State Transport Corporation has debts to the tune of Rs 48,500 crore because of the mismanagement of the previous government. Despite the financial crunch and the steep hike of diesel prices every day, we continue to operate the bus service without increasing any fare as the Chief Minister had clearly instructed that public transport is an essential service and there is no compromise on that,” he said.
Both Kerala and Andhra have hiked the fares for inter-state buses, so Tamil Nadu buses entering those states will charge on par with their fare