The Himachal Pradesh CPM has strongly condemned the decision of the government to hike the fare in both HRTC and private buses by 30 percent. In his press communique, Tikender Singh Panwar, senior party leader revealed that the party has decided to hold demonstrations throughout the state on the very first day on which the decision is being implemented. Panwar said
“On 1st October the party has called upon all its units to gather at the district headquarters and organise strong protest demonstrations against the anti people decision of the government. The party has further stated in case the government is not prepared to withdraw the hike, on 7th of October there will be a ‘rasta roko’ call that will bring the life to standstill in the tiny state of Himachal Pradesh”
The CPM has called upon the people to solidly stand for the demands and support both the actions so that the government is forced to withdraw its decision. Tikender alleged that the government has acted at the behest of the private operators who were bent to raise the fare since long. Panwar expressed shocked over the sharp increase in the minimum fare to Rs 5. He raises doubts over it and asked GS Bali to justify the reason behind it. He said that as per the decision, a new rate of bus fare is Re 1.11 per km and on the otherside department charging Rs. five for even one km.
The party has asked the government to revert back to the old practice of charging a minimum of Rs 2 for any short distance instead of Rs 5. Panwar also ridiculed the example of neighbouring state, where a sum of Rs 1.52 is being charged per km distance; however it has forget to mention that the same state charges 70 paise per km in plains.
The CPM has further added that this decision will turn the lives of the people more miserable and will affect a large number of commuters who depend on public transport for their travel. The worst hit would be the daily commuters especially those who travel daily and short distance for earning their livelihood.