One of the major operators' bodies of state, the Joint Council of Bus Syndicates, on Monday issued an ultimatum to the West Bengal Government demanding a positive decision on bus fare hike within August 9. "We are now fighting for our survival in the trade. We urged the government to take a decision within August 9 for hike in bus fares, otherwise we shall announce our next course of action the next day," JCBS General Secretary Sadhan Das said in Kolkata on Monday after his meeting with state Transport Minister Madan Mitra.
Since the bus fare hike last time, Das said that there was a hike in diesel price by Rs 19 per litre in nine instalments. "But the bus operators are yet to get any hike in bus fares despite their cooperation with state government," he said.
Stating that 30 per cent of the 35,000 buses in the state under the JCBS banner had already withdrawn vehicles failing to run the fleet properly, Das said more buses were likely to be withdrawn if there was no hike in bus fares immediately. The minister, however, assured them to look into the matter, Das claimed.