Odisha Bus Strike : Top private bus owners in Odisha have threatened to go on an “indefinite” strike for playing on certain routes from Friday, the first day of Durga Puja celebrations.
The strike will begin at 6 am on Friday and will continue indefinitely, said Debendra Sahu, general secretary of the Odisha Private Bus Owners Association.
Sahu said that while the state government had confirmed in its October 9 meeting that Local Accessible Multimodal Initiative (LAccMI) buses would not run from the maps to the districts, “this has not been fulfilled”.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik earlier this month launched a low-cost bus service under LaccMI to connect all gram panchayats to the district headquarters and the state capital.
At the same time, Sahu claimed that the state government officials confirmed in the meeting that buses will not cross the block under the scheme. “We were told that LAccM buses only go from panchayats to karts and not to the district headquarters. Hence we have postponed our strike scheduled for October 10.
Unfortunately LAccM buses run by the Odisha government are still playing to the districts . The government has not kept its word,” he claimed.
At least 1,000 buses are believed to be playing in rural areas with a budget of Rs 3,178 crore. The state government has called a meeting on Thursday to resolve the issue ahead of the festival days, officials said.
Road transport in Odisha is heavily dependent on private bus services, with around 14,000 private buses plying only 2,000 government buses, transport ministry sources said.