Dr. Avnish Jolly, Chandigarh:In an effort to make long-distance bus travel much safer in West Bengal, the state government is planning to introduce insurance benefits for the passengers of long-distance state transport buses. The minimum bus and mini-bus fare has been increased by 50 paisa and the taxi fare by Rs 2. The new fare structure is likely to come into effect from July 11.Subhas Chakraborty, State Transport Minister said that we have decided to take Rs 5 from the passengers travelling within 300 km and Rs 10 for those travelling more than 300 km by the state transport buses and the surplus would be charged on the tickets of the passengers who would avail long-distance government buses.
Chakraborty said the money will be used to provide them with insurance benefits worth Rs 50,000 in case they meet with fatal accidents during travel. The amount would be handed over to their nearest relatives and if anyone is killed in a road accident by government buses, the nearest relative of the deceased will get the same insurance benefit.
“The amount collected from every long-distance passenger would be deposited to a state government-owned corporation,” he said, adding the facility would come into effect from September and initially, the state government is implementing this facility only for the long-distance buses, and later plans to introduce the scheme in all government-run buses in the state, he said.