Although transport Minister Madan Mitra has assured that all state buses would run from all depots, there is no likely relief for the 50 lakh commuters. As per official reports, only 3,000 state-run buses ply on the roads, as compared to 44,000 private buses. A strike would mean very crowded buses and local trains.
Bus operators have called for a fare hike in the wake of the central government's ruling of increase in Diesel prices by Rs 5 on 12 September. Diesel prices have raised by 12 times since last November 2012. Presently, the price of one litre of diesel is Rs 10 higher than last year.
There are just 3,000 government-run buses in Kolkata
"The striking bus operators are working in close coordination with the CPM (Communist Party of India Marxist). If they take law and order in their own hands, the government knows how to deal with such goons," Mitra said on Wednesday. He further said that strong action would be taken against bus unions if any law and order situation was caused due to strikes.
Justifying the state government's stance on price hike, he said,"bus operators earned a lot through advertisements and are not obliged to pay any tax to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. The operators also do not pay at all to the KMC against parking of their vehicles. If that is the case bus operators should be taxed if they strike," Mitra said.
Mitra assured that the state government will not buckle under the pressure of bus operators.
Huge number of people take train service at the Bidhanagar railway station on the first day of 48 hours private bus service strike to protest against fuel price hike in Kolkata on Thursday.
People rush on to a running government bus as the private and mini bus services will stay off the roads for 48 hours to protest against State Government's decision against a fair hike in Kolkata on Thursday.
The city comes to a halt
A view of Howrah Bridge and the city traffic as the private and mini bus services stay off the roads for 48 hours to protest against State Government's decision against a fare hike in Kolkata on Thursday.
Cooling their heels?
It is harrowing times for the daily commuters in Kolkata as all private buses have gone on a two-day strike to protest against the government that has denied transport fare hike.