Kolkata: The proposed indefinite strike in West Bengal called by contract carriage vehicle owners, who also operate school buses and pool cars, was withdrawn on Sunday, while state transport minister Madan Mitra said that any illegal vehicle plying in the state after September 7 would be impounded.
"Assured by the transport minister`s initiatives, we have decided to call off the indefinite strike of pool cars and buses used to ferry students of schools and colleges from August 20," West Bengal Contract Carriage Owners` and Operators Association general secretary Himadri Ganguly said after a meeting with Mitra here.
The pool car owners had called the strike seeking reduction of taxes among its charter of eight demands.
A two-day strike called by private and minibus bus operators from tomorrow seeking fare hike was called off after a meeting between the owners` associations and the transport minister yesterday.
Speaking to the media, Mitra said, "Stern action will be taken against any vehicle ferrying passengers illegally, including unlicensed school buses and pool cars from tomorrow."
"I will hold a meeting of the transport secretary, the DGP of state police and the commissioner of Kolkata Police tomorrow and initiate action against all illegal vehicles," Mitra said.
Pointing out that owners of all these vehicles, which number around 40,000 in the state, had been given ample time since March to take commercial registration and proper permits and ply them accordingly, the minister said a fine of upto Rs 10,000 would be charged if such vehicles are found plying.
He also said that from September 7, any such vehicle found plying in any part of the state would be impounded, their registration cancelled and the driver`s license seized.
Mitra also assured that more public buses would be seen on the roads very soon as the government was taking steps to increase the fleet of both government and private operators.