Despite Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena’s assurance, the Odisha Drivers' Mahasangh on Friday announced to continue with their ongoing agitation. In a video message, Odisha Drivers' Mahasangh president Prasanta Muduli said, “Our agitation is continuing".
Yesterday, the Chief Secretary had given us written assurance to resolve our grievances within three months. But not a single member is happy over such assurance. We will continue with our agitation until the Odisha government makes an announcement in this regard.”
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu today briefed the Odisha Assembly regarding the agitation by the drivers. In her statement, Sahu said that Chief Secretary held talks with the drivers' association yesterday. A decision has been taken to fulfill their demands in three months and the association has agreed to withdraw their agitation.
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It is pertinent to mention here that the members of the drivers’ association have been staging a sit-in on the National Highway in several parts of the state for the past several days over several demands.
In another development, Sambalpur Police today picked up several drivers while they were planning to block the National Highway. As per senior police officials, the drivers were earlier staging demonstration at Ainthapali Chhak and they changed the place of demonstration today.
One of the agitating drivers in Sambalpur said, “Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should make an announcement about fulfillment of our demands.”
Later in the day, the Odisha Chief Secretary and Transport Minister appealed to the drivers’ association to call off their strike.
"We have sought three months' time and are hopeful that they will cooperate,” said the Transport Minister.
(Reported by OdishaTV Bureau)