Amidst Spiralling Costs, KSRTC Demands Formation Of Regulatory Body To Fix Government And Private Bus Fares KSRTC bus (Srikanth Ramakrishnan/Wikimedia Commons)

Due to rising operational costs caused by increasing fuel prices, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has called for establishing a regulatory body that can fix the tariffs for public and private transportation services.

KSRTC is currently seeking a long-term solution to address the aforementioned issues that will cost the department with humongous losses in the near future. Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) is based on the same lines, and they invite public recommendation on several issues.

Speaking to the Times of India, the Managing Director of KSRTC SR Umashankar said “The regularity authority should revise fares for State Road Transport Undertakings (SRTUs) periodically after considering the interests of passengers and bus corporations. The authority should also ensure that the passengers are not fleeced by the private bus operators during weekends and festival seasons.”

Regulatory authorities are usually placed in organisations/departments that provide services to the mass population, such as the electricity board, telecom department, insurance and the banking sector to name a few.

Regulatory authorities help the departments in holding public consultation with the citizens and accept fare revision proposals. Inputs are received from stakeholders, customer grievances are listened to, and tariffs are finalised.

State Run Transport Undertakings (SRTUs) have sent proposals in the past to the government, which in turn consults the transport and finance departments. Currently, the KSRTC is proposing a 15-18 per cent hike in the tariff. Approval is impending.

The last time a fare revision took place was in 2014, when the cost of high speed diesel was around Rs 59, now the cost has gone up to Rs 70 rupees.

Additionally, the maintenance cost needs to be met, staff salaries need to be given out, sometimes incentives too. Owing to this, a burden of Rs 66 lakh per day costs nearly a loss of over Rs 242 crore a year to the KSRTC. The government has been very passive about giving aid too.

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