The private bus owners in Orissa have decided to go ahead with a statewide strike Sunday after marathon talks with the government failed to resolve their toll fee issue.
The bus owners' association has been demanding the government to roll back the "exorbitant" hike in toll fee on the national highways.
The government representatives Saturday failed to convince the striking bus owners, who are already on strike on the national highways 5 and 5A since Thursday, after a five-hour meeting.
Bus services were badly hit in the state, especially in the coastal districts, as about 1,000 private buses kept off the national highways 5 and 5A.
The state government has deployed some additional buses and special trains to ferry passengers. Long distance trains have been asked to halt at small stations. However, despite the arrangements, thousands of passengers were left stranded at bus stops Saturday.
Meanwhile, the bus owners have given a three-point proposal to the government: to charge the previous amount at each tollgate, share the toll burden and cut in diesel cess.
The government, however, claimed the talks were positive and hopeful that a solution would soon come out. "We have discussed with the striking bus owners. We are hopeful that a solution will come out soon," Transport Minister Sanjeev Kumar Sahu said.