Odisha Private Bus Owners Shift Stand, Threaten Strike From July 1

Bhubaneswar: In a volte face, the Private Bus Owners’ Association, which had announced to ply 100 special buses during Rath Yatra in Odisha’s Puri on July 1, on Saturday decided to stop the services to press their demands.

The Association took the decision at its executive committee meeting in Odisha capital. Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Association president said they have decided to wait till June 30 for the state government’s decision on their 9-point charter of demanded.

The Association has demanded that the government must withdraw its decision to hand over the process of issuing bus permits to third party. The bus owners demanded sanction of permanent route permit to the private buses and withdrawal of the decision on high security registration number.

They also took objection to delay in construction of National Highway (NH) 55 from Cuttack to Sambalpur, not making any provision for passengers’ waiting kiosk on the NH and not taking steps on granting loans to bus owners who sustained loss during COVID pandemic.

The Association president said if the government fails to fulfil their demands by June 30, around 14,000 private buses will go off the roads indefinitely from July 1.

It may be noted that the Association had decided to ply 100 buses to carry passengers from Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to Puri on 7 days during the Rath Yatra following a meeting with the officials of State Transport Authority in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

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