Guwahati: City Bus Owners Find Partial Relief after Govt Allows Plying with Full Capacity
GUWAHATI: The indefinite bus strike led by All Assam Motor Transport Association (AAMTA) has been called off after the government of Assam increased the passenger capacity to 100%.
The AAMTA called for an indefinite Chakka Bandh after demands were made for fare hike for the commercial vehicles as relief measures from the state government to offset losses suffered due to COVID-19. As part of COVID-19 Unlock, buses were allowed to operate with 50% of passengers’ ca
pacity with the same fares as earlier. The owners had been critical of this.
As such, the government under recommendation from the health department has accepted the demands and allowed full seating capacity in the buses. AAMTA President Pradip Das revealed to G Plus that the talks to meet further demands of the association will be discussed and as of now the increase in seating capacity has been accepted.
The city bus owners, who have been suffering losses ever since the lockdown, have supported the decision. G Plus spoke to bus owner Nibaran Kalita, who said, "Not even half of our income is generated and I have spent more than Rs 80,000 since the lockdown without earning any profit. I hope for the best after this decision but only God will know the future."
However, this measure by the government fulfilled only partial demand by the AAMTA, as per the bus owners. They also demand road tax-free and an extension of insurances for six months. The discussions over these matters are ongoing with the government. G Plus spoke to Haren Deka of Greater Guwahati Minibus Owners Association who stated that "The maintenance cost will be catered after this for the time being. But, our other demands also need to be met."
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