Private bus operators in Bengal to go on strike Monday

Kolkata, Jan 5 (IANS) Stepping up their demand for a fare hike, private bus and mini bus operators in West Bengal will go on a 24-hour strike Monday.

As many as five associations – Bengal Bus Syndicate, Joint Council of Bus Syndicates, the Minibus Operators Coordination Committee, the All Bengal Bus and Mini Bus Co-ordination Committee, Howrah, and North Bengal Passenger Transport Owners’ Coordination Committee – Sunday decided in a meeting to go for the strike.
Joint secretary of the Joint Council of Bus Syndicates Tapan Banerjee said around 40 percent of buses have been taken off the streets in recent times because the state government failed to revise the fares in keeping with the oil price hike.
The associations said petrol prices have been raised over ten times in the last 12 months, but the state government has refused to raise the fares.
“Around 49,000 bus and minibuses will take part in the strike,” said one of the leaders.
However, state Transport Minister Madan Mitra has claimed the operators are trying to foment trouble and has ruled out a hike.