Nagpur: Nagpur Municipal Corporation has got the initial approval from State Transport Authority to increase the city bus fares by 25%. This will add up to the pockets of the daily commuters as the new fares are expected to be implemented towards this month’s end.
However the new fares can be brought into force only after the final approval of RTA The NMC has already submitted the proposal to the Regional Transport Office which has forwarded it to Regional Transport Authority headed by district collector Ashwin Mudgal.
“As soon as we get the nod, the existing bus fares in 25 different slabs will be revised,” Sontakke said. The NMC had approached the STA after the RTA partly rejected its proposal to raise fares in October last year.
As the proposed fares for Aapli bus were much higher than the maximum rates prescribed for urban transport service by the state government, the RTA had asked the NMC to get clearance from the STA based in Mumbai. Sources in the transport department said the STA gave its nod citing a new notification by the state’s home department issued on March 31, 2018. However, the RTO in Nagpur was not aware of the revised notification and they referred the NMC’s proposal to revise fare with the old notification.
Sources say the casual approach of the RTO has caused huge financial loss to the cash-strapped NMC as it could not increase the bus fares. When the NMC approached the RTA, it had allowed the transport department to increase the fares in five slabs only — between 2km -4km and 10km-12km — as the fares of 18 other slabs had already reached maximum limit in 2014 itself. It then asked the NMC to seek STA permission to revise rest of the 20 slab fares.
However, the hike became inevitable after diesel prices went up by several times in the last couple of years, while the NMC had increased the fares only in September 2014. In the absence of approval, the NMC’s transport department could not revise the fares in time. Though the transport committee gave its approval in August 2018, the general body gave its nod in September.