West Bengal: Transport strike fails to make much impact

The transport strike across West Bengal called by six trade unions including CITU and INTUC on Friday failed to make much impact as majority of the buses and other vehicles operated as usual while taxis remained off the roads for the second consecutive day.

West Bengal: Transport strike fails to make much impact

Kolkata: The transport strike across West Bengal called by six trade unions including CITU and INTUC on Friday failed to make much impact as majority of the buses and other vehicles operated as usual while taxis remained off the roads for the second consecutive day.

Hundreds of state-run as well as private buses and auto rickshaws were seen on the city roads though taxis mostly stayed off the roads as part of an indefinite strike.

The CITU, INTUC, AITUC and BMS are among the unions that had called the transport strike across the state in solidarity with taxi operators, who demand a halt to the Rs 3,000 fine for refusals.

The state government had appealed to transporters to defeat the 'strike culture' and made plans to ferry passengers from railway stations to Esplanade in the heart of the city.

President of the Joint Bus Council of Bus Syndicate Sadhan Das said the outfit did not participate in the strike and all the 14,000 buses under it operated as usual in the state.
INTUC leader Ramen Pandey, however, claimed that the strike was '100 per cent successful' and said commuters should be ready for more such agitation in the coming days with the state government still unmoved by the transporters protests.

"The government threatened its drivers with job suspension and forced them to run few trams and state-run buses ... But that did not help its cause. Today's strike was a 100 percent success," Pandey told a news agency.

According to CITU leader Anadi Sahu, the strike was a 'grand success' in Siliguri, Uttar Dinajpur, East Midnapore, Hooghly, Bardhaman and Purulia districts.

The trade union will hold a rally tomorrow afternoon from Subodh Mitra Square to the city police headquarters in Lalbazar in support of the demands of taxi drivers, Sahu added.

The current strike by the taxi operators is the ninth since August this year in support of their demands of increase in fares, dropping of legal proceedings against 450 taxi owners and repealing the Rs 3,000 penalty for passenger refusal. 

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