Drivers call off strike, to resume duty in a couple of hours: Odisha Transport Commissioner

Bhubaneswar: Three days after lakhs of drivers in Odisha joined the nation-wide ‘Quit Steering Wheel’ protest to  to oppose the new penal law on hit and run cases, State Transport Commissioner Amitabh Thakur informed that the strike has been called off. “The State-wide agitation of drivers has been called off. Drivers who had joined the strike will resume work in the next two hours and bus services will return to normalcy. The strike was called off after the State government complied with the demands of the protesting drivers. A Drivers’ Welfare Fund has been formed and cheques to be given from the fund will be disbursed,” he said while addressing mediapersons here today.

Nearly two lakh drivers had joined the strike hitting bus services and transport of essential commodities in the State.

While the strike has begun all over the country from Thursday, the Odisha Drivers’ Mahasangh had announced that its members will join the strike over the next two days after handing over their vehicles to their respective owners.

The agitation, which had entered the third day on Saturday, had affected various services in the State causing much inconvenience to passengers and regular commuters alike.

“Drivers have joined the strike and halted movement of buses to protest the Centre’s new hit and run law. They should have handed over their notice before 36 hours but haven’t. Passengers are suffering and 14,000 buses are are not plying in the State. Even busy routes like Cuttack-Bhubaneswar and Bhubaneswar-Puri are closed. We are not opposing their strike but are opposing the new law. The Centre has not taken any effort towards awareness on drivers’ safety,” member of Odisha Bus Owners’ Association Barada Prasanna Acharya had said.

The new hit-and-run law under Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, was introduced to curb road accidents and fatalities arising out of them across the country.

The law imposes stricter penalties for hit-and-run cases, with up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 7 lakh.





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