Buses to go off roads from June 5

Bhubaneswar: In the absence of an automatic fare adjustment mechanism in the State for effective and timely implementation of fuel price changes, the All Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association today threatened to go on an indefinite strike from June 5 if their demands are not met.

The warning from the transport body came following price hike in both petrol and diesel effective midnight tonight. Petrol price will go up by Rs 3.13 a litre and that of diesel by Rs 2.71 per litre.

This is the second straight steep increase in the rates this month. The price hike comes on the back of Rs 3.96 per litre increase in petrol rates and Rs 2.37 a litre raise in diesel rates from May 1.

Though the association is yet to divulge any of the 15-point charter of demands, it is presumed that this time the transport body would not let the government go without putting the automatic fare adjustment mechanism in place.

In October last year, the State government had said that it was waiting for the technical committee’s report to take a decision on the quantum of downward revision of bus fares in the State.

“The government should fix a certain paise rise/fall per kilometre for every rise/fall in fuel prices, which would make it easier for change in bus fares from the next day of rise/fall of diesel prices,” a member of the association said.

More than 13,000 private buses and 450 run by Odisha State Road Transport Corporation ply on the city roads every day.