Vikash Sharma

Scores of commuters in different parts of Odisha were seen having a harrowing time while travelling to their respective destinations due to an indefinite strike launched by the private buses on Friday.

A stalemate situation has cropped up with the Odisha government seeming to be not budging from its stand while the private bus owners’ association is insisting on assurance from the state government, but this time a written one.

Amidst such a stalemate situation and the suffering of the passengers, the private bus owners’ association on Friday said that the bus services can resume within 30 minutes if the Odisha government wants.

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“Yesterday also we told that we are ready to resume services. We just want written assurances from the Odisha government but it seems adamant. During our discussion on October 9, the state government had not given any written assurances still we had postponed our strike,” said Private Bus Owners’ Association Secretary, Debendra Sahoo.

Sahoo further said that the way the bus services were launched from blocks to district, it hurt the association. Hence, the association was forced to seek written assurance from the Odisha government. “As Odisha government did not keep its verbal assurances, we are insisting on written assurances. As passengers are suffering, we seek an apology from them. We also want to withdraw our strike within 30 minutes if we get something in written from the state government. We had deferred our strike till October 31 as the government had told us that bus services would not be launched from block to district level. But the state government has not kept its promises. Be it Sambalpur, Cuttack and other parts, the bus terminals now wear a deserted look,” Sahoo added.

Meanwhile, the BJP has blamed the Odisha government for the bus strike in the state. The party alleged that a lot of passengers are suffering on puja vacation.

State BJP Spokesperson, Dilip Mallick said, “In Odisha, dictatorship governance is prevailing. The government is only interested for publicity and in reality they do not know what the people of Odisha want and what their interest lies in including economic and social and transport facilities.”

According to Mallick, lakhs of people in various bus terminals are crying and facing hardship during festive season.

BJD MP, Munna Khan said, “Private bus owners have kept some demands and already several rounds of discussion with the government have been held. I hope that the state government will come out with some amicable solution. We admit that passengers have suffered during the festive season. I hope that the issue will be resolved at the earliest and services will resume from tomorrow.

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