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Mini buses off the roads in Nilgiris

Special Correspondent

‘Frequency of TNSTC town buses should be increased’

— Photo: D. Radhakrishnan

Protesting : Mini buses parked at the Regional Transport Office in Udhagamandalam on Monday.

Udhagamandalam: With resentment mounting over an unannounced fare hike by operators of mini bus services the buses went off the roads in various parts of the district on Monday.

The one rupee hike had come into effect on Sunday. Demanding an immediate roll back leaders of various political parties and people from various walks of life had made a representation to the district collector Anandrao V. Patil.

They said that the frequency of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation’s (TNSTC) town buses particularly on the Ooty-Thalaikundah route should be increased.

Even as some persons were getting ready to lay siege to the buses at Finger Post near here, many of the operators including some from Coonoor landed at the Regional Transport Office here along with their vehicles. In their representation to the Regional Transport Officer in-charge R. Rajinikanth they said that they were compelled to hike their fares since their overhead expenses particularly those related to fuel had gone up. They claimed that many of them were finding it very difficult to even settle their monthly dues to the banks or private financiers. However Mr.Rajinikanth informed them that fares can be raised only in accordance with the rules.

Ten cases of collecting excess fares had been registered on Sunday. Since the examination season was on the TNSTC had been asked to press into service more buses. Later at a meeting with Mr.Patil the operators pleaded for permission to hike their fares. The Collector said that though the unannounced hike warranted stringent action, the operators could hike their fares by 50 paise as per an earlier Government Order. It was being allowed keeping in view the interests of the students.

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