Passengers hit as private buses stay off roads

Bhubaneswar: Bus passengers are having a harrowing time across the State as private buses stayed off roads today following an indefinite state-wide strike by the All Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association.

People from all walks of life are suffering due to the strike with students, senior citizens and office goers being the worst hit.

Braving the scorching heat, some passengers were seen busy arranging small vehicles to reach their destination while others waited at bus stops.

“Due to the bus strike, I am worried about how to reach home,” said a passenger.

Another bus passenger from Rayagada stated, “Yesterday evening only, I came to know about the strike. Now after appearing for the exam in Bhubaneswar, I will face difficulties to return to village.”

The private bus owners’ association is observing the strike demanding toll exemption, clarity on route map of JNNURM city buses and rollback of hike in motor vehicle tax.

Yesterday a discussion between government officials and bus operators ended inconclusively.

General secretary of the private bus owners’ association Debendra Sahu said, “Buses have been off the roads across the State due to the strike. However, we want the State government to resolve the issue at the earliest and don’t let people suffer.”

On the other hand, bus service in Jeypore is normal as the Jeypore Private Bus Owners’ Association has not joined the strike.

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