The death of a Covid positive driver of a private bus has triggered panic among the operators working under the Joint Council of Bus Syndicates (JCBS) who are demanding financial assistance for the family of the deceased from the state government.
Abtar Singh, the driver of a private bus operating in North Kolkata, according to his family members, was working during the pandemic but has been ill since 27 July. He tested Covid-19 positive on 4 August and was being treated at MR. Bangur Hospital.
The bus operator later died at the hospital. While the 56-year-old driver died on 12 August, the death certificate was received on 25 August. According to the members of JCBS, this was the first such case of the private bus operators’ union. The JCBS members are now demanding financial assistance for the family of Abtar Singh from the state government.
“Our operators are in panic after the death of Abtar Singh. We submitted letters to the state transport minister and other officials of the department. We requested the authorities to provide the family with financial aid, as promised. Since Abtar was the only earning member, we have demanded a government job for one of the family members” claimed Tapan Banerjee, JCBS general secretary.
Meanwhile, private bus operators under JCBS are gearing up to go on hunger strike from the second week of September demanding fare hike, reduction in fuel prices, extension of insurance certificate, interest-free moratorium period and special financial package for the transport operators of the state.
The strike is both against the state and the central governments near Y-channel at Esplanade. The members will seek permission from the city police on 1 September.