Bengal to make law to punish striking transporters

September 20th, 2012 - 7:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 20 (IANS) The West Bengal government Thursday said it was planning to bring in a stringent law to rein in errant transport operators. Under the law, the operators would lose their permits and licences if they inconvenienced the public by resorting to strikes.

“To rein in errant transport operators and to do away with their whimsical ways, we will be bringing in a new stringent law. We will also start a fresh tender processing for introduction of new vehicles,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced here Thursday.

“Resorting to strikes at the drop of a hat will not be tolerated. Those transporters who will inconvenience the public by resorting to strikes, their licence and permits will be cancelled.”

Banerjee’s comments came on a day when life across the state was hit, with very few private buses and taxis plying on the roads following an all-India shutdown called by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the general strike in the state by the Left Front.

She said that the already financially burdened state could not afford a strike as it caused a loss of over Rs.200 crore.

“Although we support the issues on which the strike was called, we do not want strikes and shutdowns in our state. We have had enough of the politics of strikes,” said Banerjee.

Claiming that the attendance in government offices was more than usual, she said the shutdown called by the BJP and the general strike by the Left Front were “not successful” in the state.

“The attendance in government offices has been between 89-90 percent, which is higher than usual. Our government is opposed to strikes and shutdowns and the people too have now rejected the politics of strikes in the state. This is a new dawn in the state,” Banerjee said here.

“However, there was not much violence,” she said.

Banerjee also mocked the opposition Left Front and the BJP, citing the “low number of arrests”.

“In the city, the total number of arrests is only 44. In the rest of the state, the arrest figure is 666. This is too low. They lack strength,” she said.

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