Bhubaneswar, Nov 8: The All Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association has issued a warning of a statewide agitation, planning to withdraw their buses from the roads starting on December 1. In addition, the Private Bus Owners intend to hold a dharna (sit-in protest) in front of the Odisha Assembly in Bhubaneswar on November 22, as conveyed by association member Barada Acharya.
This decision emerged after a meeting was held in Bhawanipatna today. The private bus owners have been in opposition to the rollout of bus services from the block to district level under the Location Accessible Multimodal Initiative (LAccMI).
While the association had initially announced strike resumption on October 30, the protest was deferred after talks with the State Transport Minister.
Devendra Sahoo, the association's secretary, explained, "We had a meeting in Bhawanipatna today. We have already submitted our demands in writing to the Odisha government. We insist that buses should not operate from blocks to district headquarters but should run from panchayats to blocks. We are also seeking compensation and a waiver of additional taxes."
Sahoo further stated that if the Odisha government does not address their demands, they will stage a demonstration in front of the Assembly on November 22 and initiate the strike on December 1, 2023.