Vijayawada: Students are expressing concern over APSRTC’s move to increase students’ bus pass charges from June 1. More than 60,000 students utilise RTC bus pass to attend their respective schools and colleges in the city.
Nearly 35,000 students use the students’ general pass, presently available at RS 85. The bus pass fare has remained the same since 1997, but has now been increased to RS 220, an additional burden of Rs 135 per month on each student.
The route pass available at present for Rs 85 up to 4 km, has been increased to Rs 315 imposing an additional burden of Rs 230. The quarterly bus pass has been increased from Rs 240 to Rs 650 up by RS 410.
Avinash, an engineering student who uses the RTC bus pass to reach his college at Telaprolu, 30 km away from the city, expressed concern over steep hike in bus pass fares.
Meanwhile, several parents also expressed concern over abnormal increase.
V. Sundar, a resident of Satyanarayanapuram expressing concern over the burden on students, said the abnormal increase in students’ bus pass fares may discourage students from attending institutions far away.
Several students led by Students Federation of India staged a protest at RTC bus pass counters at Pundit Nehru bus station here on Tuesday against the move to increase student bus pass fares. SFI city secretary T. Praveen said that the government should provide subsidy to student passes as in the past.
He expressed apprehension that there would be drop in education as the abnormal increase in bus pass fare may discourage parents of rural areas from sending their children to the educational institutions in the city. He said that the students would launch an agitation if the government fails to withdraw the students pass fare hike immediately.