Bus owners meet minister over fare hike

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association on Saturday threatened to go on an indefinite strike from June 5 if the state government does not formulate a mechanism for automatic fare adjustment with the increase of fuel price.

The association said if the government failed to fulfill its demands, it will resort to an indefinite stir from June 5.

The transport body issued the threat following price hike in both petrol and diesel on Friday.

“The association, since April 2013, has been demanding an automatic mechanism for fixing bus fare in proportion to the rise and fall in the price of diesel. But, it (government) has sat over the demand. The government should take immediate steps in this regard,” said association general secretary Debendra Kumar Sahu.

The association members met state Commerce and Transport Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi on Saturday to press their demand for automatic price adjustment of bus fares.

Association president Prakash Mishra said while the government promptly asks the body to slash bus fares when there was a cut in diesel prices, it does not show the same urgency in raising bus fares at the time of increase in fuel price.

Majhi said a decision on a mechanism for automatic hike and cut in bus fares would be taken soon.

About 13,000 private buses and 450 state-run buses ply on Odisha’s roads every day.