Saturday, 29 January, 2022

For an end to students’ demos

For an end to students’ demos

Students have been demonstrating on the city streets demanding half bus fare since November 7 when diesel price soared resulting in a surge in transport fares. While demonstrating, they have been blocking roads, halting traffic and causing immense sufferings for commuters. Presently, public sufferings have mounted to such an extent that they are unable to bear it any more. To mitigate public sufferings, the government should take a bold initiative to resolve the issue without further delay.

It is true that the administration sat with the private bus owners on an earlier occasion to reach an understanding over the issue, but unfortunately the meeting ended without any fruitful result due to a rigid stand taken by the private bus owners. However, it is also refreshing to see that owners of certain bus companies have announced half fare for students of some educational institutions in the city amid the agitation. But, the entire city transport is yet to ensure bus fare for pupils at a concessional rate.

Bus fare should be affordable for students and all authorities concerned should act knowing that public transport is a common good. The road transport and bridges minister also said that it is a general practice all over the world to offer discounted service to students. During bygone days, it was a tradition on the part of private transport owners to take half fare from the learners. But, it is no more in practice. However, it is heartening to learn that that the state authorities have reduced fares by half for students travelling on state-owned BRTC buses. But how many BRTC buses run the city streets? It is not that sufficient to meet the demands of entire student community. So, private transports must halve fare for their convenience.

The BRTC authorities should increase the number of city buses during school hours which will go a long way in solving the problem. At the moment, we urge the agitators to carry on their demonstrations, if they decide so, in such a manner that public sufferings are not heightened. An immediate solution to the crisis is a must to mitigate public sufferings. All stakeholders must act to do the needful without further delay.