Transport strike deferred in view of festive season
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The members of Joint Council of Bus Syndicates decided to defer their strike till Lakshmi Puja after a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today. A joint meeting of the bus, mini bus and taxi associations is scheduled tomorrow but there seems to be no possibility of a strike before the festive season.
"We met the chief minister this morning. She said she understood our problems and assured us that our troubles would be looked into. She requested us to defer the strike till Lakshmi Puja. As a mark of respect, we have decided to abide by it," said Tapan Banerjee, joint secretary of the Joint Council of Bus Syndicates.
He said that if there was no hike in fares, bus services would die a natural death. "We have given her a statement of our income and expenditure, and a comparative figure of fare structures of different states," he said.
Abashesh Daw, general secretary, Mini Bus Operators Coordination Committee, said there was too much politics over the issue. "I request authorities to set aside politics and have a sympathetic approach. This is a question of livelihood for thousands," he said. He also said that a minimum hike of Rs 3 in the fare structure for each slab would be proposed at tomorrow's meeting. "How much would be agreed upon is a matter of negotiation," he said.
Members of taxi associations, too, said that without a hike in fare, taxis would be forced to remain off the road. "The minimum taxi fare needs to be raised to Rs 36. Even then, it will be lower compared to other metropolises," said Bimal Guha, general secretary, Bengal Taxi Association.
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