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Private Buses to Stay Off Road from Aug 9

Private buses in the State are set to go off-road from August 9 with operators announcing to launch indefinite strike over Government inaction in implementing a fuel price-based flexible fare system.

Published: 31st July 2014 09:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st July 2014 09:00 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR: Private buses in the State are set to go off-road from August 9 with operators announcing to launch indefinite strike over Government inaction in implementing a fuel price-based flexible fare system.

The bus operators have been demanding formulation of a fare-fixation mechanism that would determine rates as per the fuel price fluctuation. The present system of evaluation of the State-level Technical Committee and fare fixation as per its recommendation is no more feasible in view of the frequent fuel price rise. The multi-layered process of fare revision is time-taking and has become irrelevant as the Centre has made it a policy to raise fuel prices every month till subsidies are done away with.

The All-Odisha Private Bus Owners Association (AOPBOA) has been pressing the State Government for effecting such a system since last year. “However, no action has been taken on the front. The fare was last hiked in October, 2013 when the rate of diesel was `55.03 per litre. In the nine months, it has increased by `7.25 to `62.28. With an additional burden of at least `1,000 per day, operations have become difficult forcing more than 6,000 buses of the total 14,000 in the State to stop plying,” AOPBOA Secretary Debendra Sahoo said.

While 62 local bus associations have unanimously decided to go on strike, they have also raised objection to plans of the Government for initiating City Bus service on rural routes. The bus service is mandated for major cities but is now being extended by the Government to link towns through rural routes. Plans are to start service on Cuttack-Dhenkanal, Cuttack-Paradip, Jajpur and Salepur routes.

“This is illegal. If they want to launch bus service on lines of City Bus, it should be done through OSRTC and not the private player who operates the service,” Sahoo said.

The bus owners have also demanded that the Government should take immediate steps for implementing `1,000 monthly pass system at Manguli Toll Gate near Cuttack as is being done at all other gates in the State. Though all five other gates have agreed to the State Government directives, the operators of Manguli Toll Gate are still forcing buses to pay `380 per round trip. Buses making multiple trips cannot afford to pay such a high amount, the Association said.

Fare Flare

The bus operators have been demanding formulation of a fare-fixation mechanism that would determine rates as per the fuel price fluctuation

[ The fare was last hiked in October 2013 when the rate of diesel was `55.03 per litre. In the nine months, it has increased by `7.25 to `62.28. With an additional burden of at least `1,000 per day, operations have become difficult forcing more than 6,000 buses of the total 14,000 in the State to stop plying

-Debendra Sahoo, AOPBOA Secretary

62 local bus associations have unanimously decided to go on strike



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