Private bus operators threaten strike

Bhubaneswar: The All Orissa Private Bus Owners’ Association has decided to launch strike from July 19 demanding hike in bus fare in view of the increase in fuel prices in the recent times.

 With this, over 9000 buses in the state would be off the roads causing severe blow to the public transport system in the state.

In a state convention held at Bolangir on Saturday, the association held several rounds of talks and finally arrived at the conclusion to go for suspension of services from July 19. The association members deliberated on increasing fuel prices, maintenance cost, spare parts and insurance premium that has forced them to take such step.

However, the body did not put forth any demand on the extent of increase in fare and left it on the state government to decide on it.

Earlier on June 27, the association members had met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and demanded to revise bus fare.  Following this, the state government had forwarded the demands to the technical committee headed by Transport secretary.

In the meantime, the committee has submitted its report to the state government.

However, Transport Secretary Sanjeev Hota refused to comment on the issue, when contacted.