Long Queues at Petrol Pumps, CBSE Schools in Una Shut, and Sirmaur Streets Resonate with Protests

Shimla – In a dramatic turn of events, the Private Bus Drivers-Operators Union in Shimla has announced a one-day suspension of private bus services on January 3. The protest is in response to recent amendments made in the Motor Vehicles Act, particularly those concerning hit-and-run cases.

Akhil Gupta, the State General Secretary of the Private Bus Drivers-Operators Union, confirmed the decision and highlighted that the amendment in question has raised concerns among the bus operators. The protest aims to draw attention to their grievances and advocate for a reconsideration of the legislative changes.

The union has formally submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, notifying the authorities about the planned suspension. This proactive measure seeks to minimize inconvenience to the public while emphasizing the seriousness of the bus operators’ concerns.

As a consequence of the announced strike, commuters and residents in Shimla are likely to face disruptions in their daily transportation routines. The city is expected to witness a standstill on January 3, with private buses staying off the roads as a mark of protest.

Simultaneously, there are reports of long queues forming at petrol pumps across the city as residents rush to ensure their fuel needs are met before the strike day. The anticipation of disrupted bus services has led to concerns about increased traffic congestion and difficulties in commuting within Shimla.

The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) has also taken precautionary measures in anticipation of the strike. Divisional managers have been instructed to use diesel judiciously, and there are considerations of consolidating bus routes to mitigate the impact on public transportation.

Furthermore, District Magistrate Mandi Arindam Chaudhary has issued orders to petrol pump operators in the district to maintain a minimum reserve of petrol and diesel. This directive is a preventive measure, considering the potential fuel shortages that could arise from the private bus strike and the looming threat of a truck drivers’ strike.

In a related chain of events, CBSE-affiliated private schools in Una have announced a two-day closure, citing the ongoing oil crisis and extreme cold as reasons for the decision. The shortage of oil has led to long queues at petrol pumps in Dharamshala, creating additional challenges for residents.

Protests against the Motor Vehicles Act amendments have intensified in various districts. Private bus operators and drivers demonstrated in Sirmaur district, with the Driver and Transporter Association staging a protest near Delhi Gate in Nahan. The protest resulted in halted vehicles and a subsequent rally reaching Dosadka, causing disruptions to transportation services. The closure of private bus services has affected school, college, and ITI students, as well as working individuals facing challenges in commuting due to the lack of public transport. The situation remains dynamic, with stakeholders closely monitoring developments and engaging in discussions to address the concerns raised by protesting groups.