"The bus and minibus operators had announced the strike protesting against the state government's failure to revise fares in sync with the diesel price hike."
Kolkata, June 22 - Bus operators in West Bengal Sunday deferred for a month the three-day strike they had called beginning June 25 to press for an increase in fares.
The six private bus and minibus operators of the state, who had earlier this week announced the strike, decided to postpone the agitation till July 23 following a meeting with Transport Minister Madan Mitra during the day.
This morning, the transport minister asked the six operators to sit with him. We had a three-hour-long discussion. He informed us that an all-party panel has been formed to look into the matter, and it will submit its recommendations by July 23.
On the basis of his assurances, we have deferred the strike, Joint Council of Bus Syndicate (JCBS) joint secretary Tapan Bandopadhyay told mediapersons.
Bandopadhyay said the operators had put three conditions - intervention of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a specific date from the government for announcing the enhanced fares, and an admission on the part of the authorities that the demand for fare hike was reasonable.
The minister has promised that he would arrange a meeting between us and the chief minister as soon as possible. He said the tentative date for the announcement on the fare increase would be July 23, as the all party committee would give its recommendations by that date, Bandopadhyay said.
We will revert to our decision to organise a strike if nothing concrete transpires by July 23, said Bandopadhyay.
Mitra said a meeting of all the state transport corporations has been called Monday.
I appreciate they (the operators) are having problem in running the services. But they should give time to the committee to look into the issue, the minister said.
The bus and minibus operators had announced the strike protesting against the state government's failure to revise fares in sync with the diesel price hike.
The state government has formed an all-party committee to look into the issue and suggest ways to improve bus services.