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Bengal bus operators not to buy diesel on Mondays in protest against fuel price

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Suffering losses amid a hike in diesel prices and a freeze in fares, a section of private bus operators in West Bengal has decided not to buy diesel every Monday from next week in protest.

Joint Council of Bus Syndicates general secretary Tapan Banerjee said members of the association have decided that refuelling would not be done on every Monday as a mark of protest against the mounting fuel prices.

Bus operators say that besides the fuel price hike in recent months, COVID-19 related restrictions on the number of passengers that each bus can carry has also hit revenues. The unions are demanding an immediate hike in bus fares.

Usually, private bus operators purchase diesel as and when necessary.

“There has been a steep rise in diesel prices and the state government is not taking any decision on our demand for a fare hike. With these, the private bus transport business in West Bengal will go bankrupt,” Banerjee said.

At present, the daily income from a bus falls far short of the expenses, he claimed.

“The ticket sale proceeds do not even cover for the fuel cost, leave alone staff salary, insurance, bank EMI, maintenance and other expenses,” Banerjee added.

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