Guwahati: There is a strong possibility that the city bus services in Guwahati could come to a screeching halt due to the skyrocketing prices of petrol-diesel across the country.
Today, a bus owners' association organized a press conference in which they indicated that they might suspend the services of the buses due to a number of reasons that have made their lives exceedingly difficult. The owners lamented that at a time when the Government has directed owners to ply the buses at 50% of their usual capacity (owing to the necessity to maintain social distancing), the prices of petroleum products have also hit a two-year high.
The owners came together as one voice to implore the Government to slash the rates of the petroleum products and said that it will become exceedingly difficult for them to keep their business afloat, otherwise.
For long, the bus owning fraternity -- as well as drivers, handymen, etc -- of the once-thriving city bus service in Guwahati, has wallowed in grief. After the nationwide lockdown was brought into effect by the Narendra Modi-led Centre to arrest the spread of the Covid-19, not a single bus was allowed to ply on the streets. When the buses were finally allowed, they were allowed to ferry only 50% of the usual busload. The woes have continued well into the unlock phase, due to travellers' scepticism to travel by buses amid a dramatic rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the city.
The bus owners' voice of protest has been raised on a day when an incredible ruckus was witnessed in front of the Congress party headquarter of Rajiv Bhawan, where the opposition leaders staged a dharna demanding an immediate rollback.
This, at a time when the Grand Old Party's leadership has sought to intervene in the matter and urged the Government to fix prices at a nominal sum so that the vulnerable middle-class is not pushed towards the brink of poverty in these trying-and-testing times.