The transport strike by bus, minibus and taxi operators in the state that was supposed to begin on the morning of Tuesday has been put off. This followed a meeting between transport unions and chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday, where it was decided that the shutdown would be put on hold until the Pujas were over, after which another round of discussions would follow.
Public transport operators in the state have been demanding an increase in fares following the hike in diesel prices and other demands.
On Monday, the chief minister assured the union representatives that the government would look into their demands once the festive season was over. “The CM listened to our problems and asked us to keep the wheels moving despite all the problems the public transport sector is facing,” Sadhan Das, general secretary of the Joint Council of Bus Syndicate, told reporters after the meeting, adding, “We told the chief minister that 50% of the buses had gone off the roads already, since the operators are not able to bear the costs.
Initially, transport minister Madan Mitra was handling the crisis, but when matters came to a head and all unions decided to go in for an indefinite stir, the chief minister stepped in.