Bhubaneswar: The public transport system in Odisha has faced significant disruption as private bus owners initiated an indefinite strike in the state. The strike began at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, following unsuccessful negotiations with the government on Thursday.
The All Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association (AOPBOA) called for this indefinite strike to press their various demands. State Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu had urged the association to end the strike and engage in discussions, emphasizing that such actions should be avoided during the festive season.
The strike has inconvenienced commuters and those looking to travel to their homes for Durga Puja celebrations.
Debendra Sahu, the secretary of the AOPBOA, explained, “We opted for an indefinite strike starting at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, as our discussions with the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Thursday did not yield any written assurance regarding our demands. We are seeking a written commitment from the minister before calling off our strike.”
Minister Tukuni Sahu emphasized the importance of discussions to address the issues faced by private bus owners in the state. She also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the LAccMI bus service, a welfare scheme launched by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, aimed at grassroots development and transformation.
The private bus owners have been opposing the LAccMI bus service in rural areas, claiming that it impacts their livelihood.
Additionally, some private bus owners’ associations have decided not to participate in the strike called by the AOPBOA. The president of the Balasore district private bus owners’ association stated, “We are not against the strike, but the timing is not appropriate.