Private bus strike ends in two hours | Daily News

Private bus strike ends in two hours

The private bus strike launched by the Private Bus Owners' Association (PBOA) on Tuesday midnight lasted a mere two hours, Private Transport Services Minister C.B. Ratnayake said.

Addressing a special press briefing held at the Private Transport Services Ministry, yesterday the minister said that the PBOA had tried to launch a massive bus strike insland wide since Tuesday midnight. The ministry had also taken measures to face the strike while making several arrangements to ensure a smooth public transport .

"However, there was no need to use those alternative transport systems due to the failed PBOA strike . The government has a responsibility protect both the bus owners and passengers. Bus owners should know that passengers are their customers. In such a situation trying to make profits while inconveniencing passengers is not fair", he added.

According to the National Transport Policy the government increases bus fares annually. The government did it every July 01 for the last 12 years, but the bus owners asked several relief measures from the government and government agreed to grant this relief without increasing the bus fares. But several bus owners are asking both a fare hike and other relief. It cannot be done, because it is incompatible with the National Transport Policy, the minister stated.

"The PBOA Chairman Gamunu Wijeratne boasted that his association has 15,000 buses and they will continue this strike for three or four days. But their strike did not last even five hours and the buses which belonged to the PBOA was put on the road in defiance of his orders. Though PBOA has 15,000 buses not even 2000 paid heed to the chairman's orders Ratnayake explained.

"No one threatened to Gamunu or his members. The persons who threatened to the bus drivers and owners while doing their duties have already been arrested. As the Private Transport Services Ministry we are ready to take any action to ensure a smooth public transport system", the minister stated. 


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