Odisha Private Bus Owners Threaten Strike On Nov 1 If Govt Fails To Meet Demands

Bhubaneswar: The All Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association (AOPBOA) has decided to go on a strike on November 1, if the state government launches bus services from block headquarters to district headquarters on that day.

Speaking to media persons after a meeting of the association on Monday, AOPBOA secretary Debendra Sahu said they have decided to go ahead with their strike for 24 hours in 10 districts of the state on November 1 if the government starts bus services from block headquarters to district headquarters in Kalahandi under the LAccMI scheme.

He further said the private bus owners will not provide their vehicles on hire to transport people to the meetings and other programmes of political parties as part of its agitation.

However, the association will desist from the strike if the government concedes to its demand and does not run the buses from block headquarters to district headquarters under its Location Accessible Multimodal Initiative (LAccMI) scheme. The association will decide its future course of action in a meeting scheduled to be held on November 8, he added.

The association had threatened to go on a strike from October 10, opposing the LAccMI, but it was put on hold following assurance from the government that buses under the scheme will operate only from panchayats to blocks and not to district headquarters.

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. The association, however, postponed the strike till October 31 the very day.

After a meeting with Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu on October 26, Sahu had said the bus strike has been postponed till October 31. It has not been called off. The general body of the association will take decision on further course of action on October 30, he added.

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