Rashmi Ranjan

In a major relief for commuters, the Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association has decided not to go ahead with its planned strike following a discussion with the State government.

Association secretary Debendra Sahu on Friday informed that the strike which was threatened following disruption of bus operations by Drivers' Mahasangh has been cancelled.

Speaking to OTV over phone, Sahu said, “We have pushed back our planned strike after the meeting between Drivers’ Mahasangh and chief secretary was fruitful yesterday. Buses have started plying on different routes.”

“All the routes are clear now and movement of trucks has become normal. So we have resumed movement of buses on different routes. So far, none of our drivers, conductors were manhandled during the Drivers’ Mahasangh protest. However, we are constantly monitoring the situation,” Sahu added.

Notably, the Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association has threatened to go on a strike for one hour today. The association had demanded National Highways free from agitators, security to their staff and buses during the Drivers’ Mahasangh protest.

Meanwhile, the residents of Bonai, Gurundia, Lahunipada and Koida areas in Sundargarh district are bearing the brunt as the members of the Drivers’ Mahasangh continued their protest even after assurance from the State government.

The agitating members of the association blocked roads at important junctions including National Highway disrupting normal vehicular movement in the district.

According to sources, the agitating members expressed their resentment over the Odisha government assurance to resolve their issues within three months and slept on the National Highway thoughout the night as a mark of protest.

(Reported by Debashis Mohanty and Ranjit Choudhury, OTV)