Commuting via public transport in Navi Mumbai is going to get dearer by a minimum of 10 per cent as the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) has decided to hike fares. The proposal to hike fares was supposed to be approved by mid-June as the NMMT was ready with it. However, with the code of conduct in place, for the elections of the graduate constituency of the Konkan division till the end of this month, tabling of the proposal was deferred to July-end. Interestingly, just three months ago, the NMMT had decided not to hike fares until the upcoming financial year. But the recent hike in CNG prices and increased cost of maintenance of its buses, reportedly, forced the NMMT to reconsider its decision.
According to NMMT officials, depending on the distance, the fares will be increased from 10 per cent to 25 per cent. However, the NMMT has decided to refrain from increasing fares for the first two stages. “We have decided to increase the existing fares by 10 per cent to 25 per cent. However, there won’t be any increase in fares for the first two stages, since they are already high: Rs 5 and Rs 7. Once the proposal gets approved in the general body meeting, the new fares will be enforced immediately,” said an NMMT official, requesting anonymity.
‘No options left’
Hanumant Dalvi, NMMT chairperson, said, “In order to keep the transport service in proper condition, we are supposed to increase fares of our service. Earlier this year, we did not hike any fare in our annual budget. However, CNG prices and cost of maintenance of our buses has increased substantially, leaving us with no option but to hike fares. We are ready with the proposal, but it will be put before the general body for approval only in July, as the code of conduct is in force till the end of this month. So we can not reveal much about the fare hike.”
Cheaper than BEST
Though the NMMT has decided to opt for a fare hike, it has claimed that the increase will be 10 per cent to 20 per cent less in comparison to the BEST bus fare hike. “We do not want commuters to suffer due to fare hike. So we will try our best to keep our hike in control and within the common man’s limit. Also, our hiked fares will be 10 per cent to 20 per cent lesser than that of the BEST,” said Dalvi. According to sources, fare hike for AC buses will be more than that of the regular ones.