For permits, say no to strikes: Bengal tells transporters
The West Bengal government has told transport operators in the state that to get permits or renew licences, they would have to submit an undertaking that they would not go on strike. But the decision has drawn flak from the owners of buses and taxis.
"Transport operators will have to submit this undertaking to get permits for running vehicles. Without it, they will not be given permits," Transport Minister Madan Mitra said Wednesday and added that all regional transport officers (RTO) have been asked to act accordingly.
"The operators often pull out their vehicles and it causes much inconvenience to commuters. We will not tolerate it," Mitra added.
The decision, not surprisingly, has not gone down well with the transport operators.
"No state has till now been able to initiate such a measure. We do not know how he (Mitra) would do this," Bengal Bus Syndicate vice president Dipak Sarkar told IANS.
Bengal Taxi Association general secretary Bimal Guha said, "We do not call for a strike suddenly. We serve notice seven days before going on strike. Currently, there is no question of going on a strike after the government decided to hike fares."
"But this thing (giving undertakings) cannot happen in a democratic country."
The government has recently allowed owners of buses, mini-buses and taxis to raise fares following intense pressure from them since the diesel prices were hiked.