Buses stay off roads, add to agony of passengers

All-Odisha Bus Owners’ Association is protesting the arrest of bus owner Rishabh Tripathy for Athamallik mishap

Published: 30th September 2016 03:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2016 03:52 AM   |  A+A-


Buses parked in City Bus Stand in Berhampur on Thursday | Express

By Express News Service

KORAPUT: Thousands of bus passengers across the State had a harrowing time on Thursday as all bus operators stayed off the roads following a 24-hour strike called by All- Odisha Bus Owners’ Association (AOBOA) protesting the arrest of Rishabh Tripathy, owner of the ill-fated bus involved in Athamallik mishap. The incident had left 19 passengers dead and more than 50 injured.
  In the tribal district of Koraput, the strike was total with members of Private Bus Owners’ Association stopping movement of vehicles from Jeypore to Damanjodi, Rayagada and Gunupur. The buses plying from Koraput to Padwa, Nandpur and Dasmanthpur stayed off the roads. Many passengers, unaware of the strike, were stranded at different places.
 Association president Naresh Padhi said they would support the cause of AOBOA till fulfilment of their demand. They are demanding withdrawal of case registered against the bus owner, terming it as illegal.
Sambalpur: The busy Sambalpur private bus stand wore a deserted look on Thursday with the Private Bus Owners’ Association joining the State-wide stir. Besides 150 buses of the association, another 100 buses, which ply to Sambalpur or pass through the town, were off the roads. The buses would resume operation on Friday morning.
 Association president Shailendra Singh said it is unfortunate that a bus owner has been arrested for the first time for the fault of the driver. If the State Government does not take any action by October 6, they would resume their strike. However, buses will ply normally from 6 am on Friday, he added.
 Meanwhile, passengers, who were unaware about the strike, had to face a harrowing time. Long distance buses to Sambalpur from Baripada, Karanjia, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack reached Sambalpur before the scheduled time and joined the stir after parking their respective buses.
Nayagarh: Around 70 private buses operating in the district stopped plying to express solidarity with the arrested bus owner of Athamallik. Trekkers, which used to ferry passengers in suburban areas, also stopped plying, adding to the miseries of the passengers who were stranded at different places.
ASKA: In Ganjam district, movement of vehicles plying on the road from Aska to Bhubaneswar, Berhmapur, Phulbani, Sorada and Nayagarh was affected.
 Though all Central, State and cooperative institutions and banks were open, the attendance was thin. On the other hand, educational institutions functioned normally.

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