Protests Against Fare Hikes In Tamil Nadu Enter Fourth Day, Stalin Calls Palaniswamy Government ‘Sadist’Buses in Chennai (Sanjit Das/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Government of Tamil Nadu on Friday (19 January) increased bus fares for state-run and private transport bodies after a gap of six years by 20 to 55 per cent.

Protests against the hike across the state entered the fourth day today (23 January) with the opposition Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam (DMK) demanding Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami roll back the fares, reported PTI.

College students protests in several cities including Chennai, Coimbatore and Tiruchirappalli (Trichy), with several students boycotting classes as part of their protest, said local police. Commuters reportedly took to the train due to their cheaper fares with demands that the Centre run trains on shorter routes connecting local areas.

DMK President and Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin demanded the roll back claiming it affected all sections of the society. Responding to the government’s defence that the revision of fares was a necessity due to a rise in fuel prices, maintenance costs, costs of procurement of buses, salaries and pensions, he termed it as an excuse. He said that the government should explore alternative means of earning revenue such as advertisement and overhauling the efficiency.

Stalin also claimed that the price hike would hurt the general public who already had to contend with the general rise in prices of commodities, and called the fare hike ‘impractical’ and stating that it would cause instability in the state-run bodies.

Condemning the government, he called the government ‘sadist’.

The fare hike came in after week-long strike by transport staff demanding higher wages. The government termed the revision as inevitable after the strike crippled the state’s economy.

Also Read:

Tamil Nadu’s Buses Are In Poor Health; Here’s What Can Help

TN Transport Strike: Retired Employees In Despair As They Await PF Payment

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