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Bus owners withdraw strike call

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Reported by Chinmay Dehury/ Edited by Swetaparna Mohanty

Bhubaneswar, Aug 17

The All Odisha Bus Owners’ Association today called off its proposed strike after getting assurances from the Odisha government that it will consider the demands of the private bus owners after technical committee gives its recommendations.images

“We have sent the demands of the bus owners to the technical committee, which will examine it thoroughly. Once the committee’s recommendations reach us, we will take steps to respond to the demands accordingly,” Commerce and Transport Minister Subrat Tarai told media persons.

The bus owners’ association had a meeting with the minister and senior officials of the Transport department to resolve the deadlock arising out of the strike call given the private bus operators.

They had threatened to go on an indefinite strike from August 26 unless the State Government concedes to its demand for a hike in passenger fares by August 25.

“We have called off our strike following the assurance of state government, which has said it will consider our demands,” said Debendra Sahu, general secretary of the association.

The private bus operators have been pressing for a revision in existing fares for quite some time citing huge losses due to escalating prices of diesel and other allied commodities meant for maintenance of the vehicles as the reason.

With oil companies now reviewing prices of diesel every fortnight, the bus owners are seeking formulation of a mechanism that would by design enable change in fares vis-à-vis rise and fall in diesel prices.