Odisha Private Bus Owners Drop Strike Plan After Talks With Govt

Bhubaneswar: The All Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association on Wednesday announced complete withdrawal of the proposed strike from December 1 following talks with the government.

The decision was announced by the private bus owners after a meeting with Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu in Bhubaneswar.
Association secretary Debendra Sahu gave this information after the meeting with the Minister.

Stating that the association has decided to completely withdraw the bus strike proposed from December 1, he said the bus operators are waiting for the implementation of the assurance given by the government.

Sahu said the association is thankful to the government for not plying the LAccMI buses in three districts as per the assurance. “We hope that the government would not ply the buses from block to district headquarters in other districts,” he said.

The buses under LAccMI scheme, initially launched in Gajapati, Kalahandi, and Rayagada districts, will continue to run from panchayats to block headquarters. Similarly, government buses under LAccMI scheme will run also in Nabarangpur and Koraput districts coming days.

A committee has been constituted comprising the association and senior officials of the Government, which is to review and decide on Mo Bus routes in seven days, Sahu informed.

Minister Tukuni Sahu reportedly said that the discussion with the bus owners was fruitful. They have cooperated with the government and welcomed the LAccMI (Location Accessible Multimodal Initiative) scheme. The government will discuss how their business would not get hampered, she said.

The bus owners had called for an indefinite strike from December 1, protesting the government’s LAccMI scheme. They have been demanding restriction of government bus services from block to district headquarters.

On November 22, the owners staged a dharna in front of the state Assembly in Bhubaneswar pressing for their demands.

The association has been opposing the government’s plan to operate buses from blocks to district headquarters under its scheme- Location Accessible Multimodal Initiative (LAccMI).

Earlier, the association had postponed its proposed strike twice, keeping in view of difficulties to be faced by passengers.

It may be noted here that the state government had recently launched the LAccMI scheme intending to connect villages to the state capital. As many as 1,000 buses will be engaged under the scheme for which a budget allocation of Rs 3,178 crore has been made by the state government.

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