Bus Strike May Resume In Odisha Next Month; Protest Before Odisha Assembly On Nov 22

Bhubaneswar: The All Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association (AOPBOA) on Wednesday threatened to resort to strike from December 1, opposing recently launched state-run buses on certain routes under Location Accessible Multimodal Initiative (LAccMI).

“The bus owners will stage a dharna in front of Odisha Assembly from November 22. If the government fails to address our demands, we will resort to strike from December 1,” association general secretary Debendra Sahoo informed after a meeting with Bhawanipatna.

Elaborating on the demands, he said that they had demanded that the LAccMI buses should operate between gram panchayats and block headquarters and not to district headquarters. Second, compensation for those getting affected because of government buses being between run between panchayats and blocks by waiving additional tax. “They are being given Rs 76 per km, we have demanded Rs 50 per km to run the service at Rs 10 for passengers and coupons to give free rides to women. Or else, make the fare same for all buses, allowing a level playing ground for all,” Sahoo said.

He said they have been avoiding a strike and have given enough time to the government to resolve the issue. “I am hopeful that the government would seriously look into these demands,” he added.

The association had earlier threatened to go on a strike from October 10 but it was put on hold following assurance from the government. An indefinite strike was then launched on October 20, coinciding with the commencement of Durga Puja festivities, as the government allegedly reneged on its promise to operate buses under the scheme only from panchayats to blocks. The association, however, postponed the strike till October 31 the very day.

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