Private Bus Owners to Stage Dharna Before Odisha Assembly on November 22

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association is set to stage a demonstration in Bhubaneswar on November 22 in protest of the state government’s decision to operate buses on specific routes under the Location Accessible Multimodal Initiative (LAccMI). The decision was reaffirmed during a meeting in Cuttack on Monday, with around 100 members planning to participate.

During the winter session of the Assembly starting Tuesday, the association intends to conduct a dharna in front of the Assembly and submit a memorandum outlining their demands. The key grievances include the demand that LAccMI buses operate exclusively between gram panchayats and block headquarters rather than district headquarters. Additionally, the association seeks compensation for those affected by government buses between panchayats and blocks, proposing a waiver of additional taxes.

The association, which previously announced the strike decision on November 8, has outlined a timeline: a dharna on November 22 and, if their demands are not met, a full-fledged strike from December 1. The association’s general secretary, Debendra Sahoo, emphasized the need for fair compensation, suggesting a rate of Rs 50 per km for their services and advocating for uniform fares to establish a level playing field for all buses.

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