Drivers’ Strike To Continue In Odisha Despite Govt’s Assurance

Bhubaneswar: At a time when the strike by drivers of commercial vehicles in Odisha has paralysed transportation of edibles and essential items, the association has decided to continue the agitation.

“The association is not satisfied with the written assurance of the Chief Secretary. The strike will continue till the state government makes an announcement regarding fulfillment of our demands,” said Odisha Drivers’ Mahasangha president Prasanta Muduli.

On the other hand, Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu today made a statement in the Assembly over the ongoing strike.

“The Chief Secretary held discussion with the association yesterday. A decision has been taken to fulfill their demands in 3 months. The agitators agreed to withdraw the strike,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena and DGP Sunil Bansal appealed to the agitating drivers to withdraw the strike.

The agitation is affecting the students appearing in exams, patients heading towards hospitals and supply of essential items. They are continuing the strike even after assurance from the government. They should call off the agitation,” the Chief Secretary said.

Similarly, the DGP advised the drivers not to take law into their hands. The top cop said some criminals are trying to incite violence in a bid to defame the drivers. Police personnel were attacked yesterday. Stringent action will be taken against the offenders, said Bansal.

Notably, the drivers have launched strike across Odisha for an indefinite period demanding fulfillment of their 10-point charter of demands.

The agitating drivers staged demonstration at various places in the state and resorted to picketing. The agitators were seen stopping commercial vehicles on National Highways.

Formation of a welfare fund, death benefits, social security including pension after 60 years of age are among the demands of the drivers.

However, All Odisha Bus Owners’ Association, Truck Owners’ Association and Auto-rickshaw Owners’ Association have not joined the agitation.

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