Drivers’ Mahasangha Strike: Bus Owners’ Association Seeks Odisha Govt Help For Smooth Plying Of Buses

Bhubaneswar: With Drivers’ Mahasangha, an association of drivers of different motor vehicles, calling for an indefinite strike from March 15, All Odisha Bus Owners’ Association has urged the Odisha government to provide adequate security for plying passenger buses across the state during the agitation.

Senior members of the association, which has distanced itself from the strike, met the DGP on Tuesday to discuss law and order situation as private buses will continue to ply during the protest. “The indefinite strike may affect smooth movement of 14,000 passenger buses in Odisha. The common people will have to bear the brunt of this agitation,” said the bus owners’ association.

The drivers’ body is demanding social security, including pension after 60 years of age, death benefits and insurance. They also want rest sheds every 100 km on the major roads of the state and compensation if a driver cannot work after an accident.

The members of the association drive trucks, cabs, ambulances, autorickshaws, buses and other transport vehicles.

“As the government paid no heed to our demands despite demonstrations and massive rallies in the capital city in 2022 and 2021, we are going to stage an indefinite strike from Wednesday,” said Mahasangha leader Prasanta Menduli .

Instead of staging demonstration or rally at the capital city, the members will hold this protest in their respective districts. The Mahasangha had claimed that around 5 lakh drivers across the state would participate in the agitation to press for their 10-point charter of demands. No vehicle except those engaged in emergency services will be allowed to ply on the roads during the strike.

Notably, they had paralysed the capital traffic during the previous two rallies.

However, Odisha Motor Chalak Sangha, another drivers association, announced that it would not support the indefinite strike by the Mahasangha.

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