Bhubaneswar: Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera is hopeful that private buses will very soon ply in the State following his fairly successful talks with office bearers of the Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association (OPBOA) today.
“Talks with the Private Bus Owners’ Association have been fairly successful. Payment of Road Tax will be waived for the months of April, May and June,” informed Transport Minister Behera briefing reporters here today after a meeting with a delegation of the OPBOA.
“We hope very soon private buses will ply,” he added.
The government has accepted some of our demands in the talks held today, said Barada Prasanna Acharya, Treasurer, OPBOA.
“We were told that the proposal to waive Road Tax has been put up before the Finance Department and that Road Tax will be waived following clearance from the Finance Department,” Acharya added.
He further said that the OPBOA’s general body meeting is scheduled for tomorrow and a final decision over plying of buses will be taken in the meeting.
He added that buses will start plying from Thursday if the proposal gets approved at tomorrow’s meeting.
General Secretary of the OPBOA Debendra Sahu told reporters that the Association has three demands-waiver of road tax, moratorium on payment of insurance premium, and waiver on payment of loan instalment.
He informed that discussion with the government on the demands has been fruitful.
Sahu said that there are 14,000 private buses in the State belonging to 8,000 bus owners.
He added that 60,000 are direct employees and demanded provision of insurance cover for them.
An eight-member delegation of the OPBOA today met the Transport Minister.
The State government on May 24 allowed movement of intra-state buses, other passenger vehicles and city buses to operate up to sitting capacity of the vehicle.