The School Bus Owners Association (SBOA) has once again threatened to go on an indefinite strike across the state from February 6 to protest against safety norms set for school buses.
The Association’s members run about 25,000 school busses across the state.
On January 25, SBOA had sent a notice to Shailesh Kumar, principal secretary (transport), demanding a single policy on the school bus. On January 28, school bus operators from across the state held a meeting in Thane to discuss their grievances.
“We have discussed the bus operators’ problems twice and a committee was formed to look into their problems. Now the committee will submit its report to the transport commissioner. If they want to go on a strike they can, they cannot blackmail the government,” said Kumar.
Bus operators alleged that the transport department is not taking any steps to resolve their problems. “We had asked for minor changes in the school bus policy, but none of them has been acknowledged. Last time, we went on a day-long strike. Now, we have no other option but to go on an indefinite strike,” said Anil Garg, president, SBOA.
School bus operators had gone on a one-day strike on December 20. They had threatened an indefinite strike from January 2.
SBOA has alleged that bus operators are “facing harassment” from officers in the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and the school education department over implementation of the safety norms.
SBOA has also sent notices to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, chief transport commissioner VN More and principal secretary of transport about the indefinite strike.
“The strike might cause inconvenience to parents and children. If it is confirmed we will intimate the parents through a circular,” said Abha Dharam Pal, principal, Utpal Sanghvi, Juhu.