Bhubaneswar: The State Government is going to waive the road tax for private bus owners in the State. It has come as a good news for the private bus owners in Odisha.
It is being planned to normalise bus services across the state post lockdown. In that direction necessary steps have being taken, said Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera on Wednesday. He further said that private buses are running in approximately 20 Category A districts presently. Decision regarding running of buses in 10 Category B districts will be taken soon.
He added by saying that along with freeing the taxes, other facilities will also be extended to the public transporters as incentive.
Earlier last week the Bus Owners’ Association had demanded before the government for tax waiver owing to the losses they have to bear in business on account of the periodic extension of lockdowns. They had also demanded that the State government should provide them interest-free loan annually of Rs one lakh per one bus and other financial assistance to each staff. They had threatened to halt bus services across the State if their demand is not fulfilled.
According to the Director of Health Services in Odisha Shri Bijay Mahapatra, the State Government will take decision regarding the process of unlocking in due time. After reviewing the current COVID situation suitable decision will be taken by the government. The authorities are being notified about the process and the required details will be shared.
The state has around 14,000 private buses fleeting regularly around the state by well connecting the all the rural and urban localities. This strong connectivity of private bus play a pivotal role helping in a smooth mobilization of people around the state at the same time portrays a picture of a well flourished public transport in the State.
After the operation of the private bus services got suspended since time of the pandemic situation last year, not just the bus owners, but thousands of staff dependent on this business has been going through a tough time, like any other sector. The worst affected are the common people who solely depend on this service to move to distant places for work and business.