Bhubaneswar, Mar 14 (PTI) Commuters faced a tough time across Odisha today as private buses stayed off the roads following an indefinite state-wide strike launched by the bus owners to press for their charter of demands.
Over 17,000 buses stopped plying following the strike call given by the All Odisha Private Bus Owners Association (AOPBOA), the umbrella body of private bus owners.
The association has been demanding separate routes for city and long-route private buses.
A large number of commuters were found stranded at bus stands and a heavy rush was witnessed in state government-run buses. Office goers and senior citizens were the worst hit, police said.
Many passengers were seen trying to arrange small vehicles to proceed towards their destination.
While some demands of the private bus operators had been accepted by the state government, the association decided to launch a strike protesting the plying of city buses on long routes and an increase in tax.
“The state government must prepare separate routes for city buses and private buses as plying of city buses on long routes is severely affecting our business,” said a spokesman of the AOPBOA.
The collection of huge taxes had also placed a heavy burden on private bus owners, the spokesman said.
School and town buses were excluded from the purview of the strike.
An office bearer of the AOPBOA said that the state government should take necessary steps to resolve the issue at the earliest in public interest.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.