Himansu Shekhar Rout

The harrowing time that commuters had been going through since 6 AM today due to the bus strike, ended after the private bus owners’ association finally announced to postpone the strike till October 31. 
The bus services will be resumed immediately, the association informed.

Addressing a press meet here at around 9 pm, secretary of the bus association Debendra Sahu said that the strike has been put on hold till October 31 after a decision was taken at a meeting of the functionaries of the association at Baramunda in the evening. 

The strike is postponed till October 31 and bus services will be normalized with immediate effect, Sahu added.

He also made it clear that after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu appealed for halting the strike, the stir was postponed till October 31.

However, Sahu added that the bus owners have been eagerly waiting for a written assurance on their demands from the government which will be given to them after a high-level meeting slated on October 26. 

“We will be at the meeting. A resolution will be passed on the policy of the bus plying. We will show the resolution to the bus owners to see if our demands have been met or not,” he added. 

He also reiterated that the bus owners have again tendered an apology to the people for the inconveniences due to the bus strike that had started today at 6 am.         

Earlier today, Odisha Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu held a discussion with the bus owners’ association about their demands. She appealed to the bus owners to resume the bus services so that the people do not face hardship at the time of Puja celebrations. 

However, emerging after the meeting with the Transport minister, the secretary of the bus owners’ association kept the government and commuters on tenterhooks by announcing that they would communicate their final decision about the bus strike after an hour. 

Then, the bus owners huddled together at a meeting and a decision was taken to put the strike on hold till October 31.
Notably, the bus owners have been opposing the launch of bus services under the 'Location Accessible Multi-modal Initiative' (LAccMI) scheme from the block level to the district level, apart from raising various other demands.