Bhubaneswar: Passengers and daily commuters are having a harrowing time and suffered immense inconvenience in Odisha on Wednesday as more than 17,000 private buses remained off the roads following an indefinite state-wide strike by the All Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association (AOPBOA).
The association has been demanding that the government stop the movement of the city buses on the outskirts. Besides, the private bus owners’ association is observing the strike demanding toll exemption, clarity on route map of JNNURM city buses and rollback of hike in motor vehicle tax.
Talks between the AOPBOA and Transport Minister Nrusingha Charan Sahu over their longstanding demands had remained inconclusive on Tuesday, following which the bus owners’ body had called for the strike.
“We don’t want to cause inconvenience to the people. But, we can’t run the buses at a loss. The government should consider our genuine demands,” said association general secretary Debendra Sahu.
He said the city buses are a major threat to the private buses since the government has also allowed them to operate on the cities’ outskirts.
Meanwhile, the Transport department has called another meeting on Wednesday to discuss the demands of the AOPBOA.
As it the examination season and heat wave conditions prevailing in the state, the bus strike has affected people from all walks of life, students, senior citizens and office goers being the worst hit.
While some passengers were seen busy arranging small vehicles to reach their destination braving the scorching heat, others waited at bus stops.
On the other hand, bus service in Jeypore is normal as the Jeypore Private Bus Owners’ Association has not joined the strike.