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Siliguri bus operators to go on indefinite strike

Siliguri bus operators to go on indefinite strike

SNS, SILIGURI, 6 JUNE: The private buses plying between Siliguri-Alipurduar and Siliguri Cooch Behar may go off the roads for an indefinite period if the roads on these routes are not repaired immediately.
The North Bengal Passenger Transport Owners' Coordination Committee (NBTOCC), which had called an indefinite strike in north Bengal demanding the repairing of the highways from 17 September, which continued till 20 September last year, is considering pulling off the buses for indefinite period.
"We have been requesting the administration for the past three years to repair the roads on the stretch of Siliguri-Cooch Behar-150 km, Siliguri-Alipurduar-181 km. We are unable to run the buses because of the deplorable condition of the road. The maintenance cost and operational cost have been increasing daily thanks to the pathetic roads. We may pull off the buses for an indefinite period on these routes if the roads are not repaired immediately," said Mr Pranab Mani, the secretary of the committee, which is also the apex body of 32 bus owners’ association of north Bengal.
According to Mr Mani, around 300 private buses daily ply on these routes. The road condition of a 100 km stretch of the 150 km Siliguri-Cooch Behar and around 120 km stretch of the Siliguri- Alipurduar road are in bad condition. "We have served several memorandums to the concerned authorities but all have fallen on deaf ears. We cannot afford to run our vehicles anymore. If we go for an indefinite bus strike, around 250 buses are expected to remain off from the roads."
When asked, the project director of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Siliguri Mr R K Chowdhary said they would send a estimated project cost to the Union ministry of road transport and highways for its approval of repairing the road between Siliguri and Dhupguri (around 80 km). "We have received the project cost from PWD of Rs 79 crore to repair the road of around 80 km between Siliguri and Dhupguri town. We will send the proposal to the ministry and as soon as we get the approval, repair work will start, " he added.

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