Odisha: 17,000 Private Buses On Indefinite Strike, Stay Off Road

| March 14 , 2018 , 13:08 IST

Odisha Private Bus Owners Association (AOPBOA) decided to go ahead with its strike on Wednesday after their meeting with the state government failed to provide any results.

The state transport department had held a meeting with the association representatives on Tuesday. But, the members said the discussion failed to yield any result as no officials of the housing and urban development department were present in the discussion.

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One of the major demands of the association is the reversal of the government's decision to expand the state-run city bus services beyond the cities. The association members said that though the city bus service was meant to ply within the cities, the buses started plying on the state highways and national highways.

The service first started in Bhubaneswar in 2010 and later extended to Cuttack and Puri. Subsequently, the service was introduced in Berhampur, Sambalpur, Balasore, and Koraput.

The association has also been demanding the toll exemption, clarity on route map of JNNURM city buses and rollback of hike in motor vehicle tax. However, the government has not kept its words despite assurances, the bus owners alleged.

"We don't want to cause inconvenience to the people. But, we can't run the buses at a loss. The government should consider our genuine demands," said association general secretary Debendra Sahu.
said the association's general secretary Debendra Sahoo.

"We unanimously decided not to ply buses from Wednesday morning. The housing and urban development department has promised us to take up the issue on Wednesday afternoon. A further decision will be taken after the meeting," Sahoo further added.

As per reports, as many as 17,000 private buses will join the indefinite strike and will stay off the road till the state government comes with an acceptable proposal.