Guwahati: Much to the relief of commuters, particularly office goers, the All Assam Motor Transport Association has called off the indefinite chakka bandh or transport strike after some of its demand were met by the government.
The Association informed that the strike has been called off and city buses and other modes of privately run public transport would start plying from tomorrow (Friday).
The government has accepted the Association's demand to allow operation of buses with 100 per cent passengers as the 50 per cent capacity guideline was hurting the earnings of the bus operators hugely.
"The Health and Family Welfare Department after careful consideration of all aspects of the matter…..has decided to agree to the request of the Transport Department subject to Transport Department ensuring compliance to following conditions," an order issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department issued just a while back said.
The conditions to be complied with are:
- Vehicles will not carry passengers more than the allowed seating capacity
- No passengers would be allowed to travel standing in the vehicle
- Wearing of masks at all times is mandatory
- Vehicle's owner will ensure availability of sanitiser in the vehicle at all times
- Vehicle will be sanitised after completion of every journey
- Driver and other staff will wear masks at all times
Any violation will be dealt with very strictly, the order said.
The Transport Department had sought a week's time from the Transport Association to consult with the Health and Finance Departments regarding their demands. A meeting between Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary and office bearers of Transport Association was held on Tuesday.
The indefinite strike was called by the Association on Monday, October 5 following financial crisis being faced by them due to guidelines like running with 50 per cent passengers only, rising fuel prices and plummeting earnings. Buses and other mode of privately run public transport like trackers and e-rickshaws had gone off the road putting commuters in great trouble.
The government had pressed into service 250 ASTC buses to ply as city buses and another 650 ASTC buses to ply on the inter-district routes but this was not enough to ferry the large number of commuters.