In a bid to pressure the West Bengal government to increase bus and taxi fares, the Joint Council of Bus Syndicate, one of the largest bus operators in the state, today decided to go on an indefinite strike from September 17.
"We have no other option other than an indefinite strike as we can't run buses after this sharp rise in diesel prices. Most of the buses have already stopped plying," said Sadhan Das, a member of the bus syndicate.
The strike will lead to 35,000 buses across Bengal going off the roads, out of which 6,500 will be in Kolkata alone.
The union government on Thursday hiked diesel prices by Rs.5 a litre and capped supply of subsidised cooking gas cylinders to six per family per year. The decisions came into effect from Thursday midnight.
Bengal Taxi Association vice-president Suman Guha said his organisation has decided to call a three-day token strike from September 20 to 23.
"If the state government decides to increase the fares then it is alright, otherwise we will go for an indefinite strike," Mr Guha said.