Karnataka road transport staff strike enters second day


Citizens rely on autos, taxis and private buses for their commute.

The strike called by employees of Road Transport Corporations across the State entered its second day on Saturday. Drivers and conductors with Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) refused to take the buses out from their depots until their demands are met. Protesters want the State government to consider them as government employees and extend benefits.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation managed to operate only four buses to Mysuru and majority of the buses remained off road. “The Bengaluru division could operate only a few services out of 127 schedules till 10 a.m. The services were hit even in other divisions barring Mangaluru division. In districts such as Chitradugra, Davangere one or two buses were operated in the morning hours,” said a KSRTC official.

As of 10 am, BMTC ran only 82 of the 2,000 scheduled operations. “There are very few buses on the road. Employees are refusing to take them out from depots, and are stopping the few buses that are running,” said a senior official of the BMTC. Some of the buses were operated with police protection after incidents of stone pelting.

Citizens are relying on autos, taxis and private buses for their commute. At Mysuru Satellite Bus stand, passengers were boarding private buses to Chamarajnagar, Mandya and other locations. Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited is running all services, with increased frequency.

Chandrashekar , president of Sarige Noukararu Sarakari Noukararaguva Horatada Okkuta told The Hindu the government has not invited them for talks. “Employees will continue to participate in the strike,” he said.

Transport corporations employees are staging protests at Yeshwanthpur, Banashankari, Majestic and other locations in the city. “The State government did not come out with any assurance on considering us as government employees, forcing us to continue the strike,” said an employee Yogeesh.

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Sagar Biswas

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