Karnataka bus strike: State-run buses stay off roads as indefinite transport strike begins in Karnataka | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Public transport users across the state faced severe inconvenience on Wednesday, after the majority of buses run by the state-run bus corporations including KSRTC, BMTC, NEKRTC and NWKRTC stayed off the roads.
Karnataka State Road Transport Employees’ League has called for an indefinite strike raising various demands, including wages, according to the sixth pay commission.

Mysuru Road Satellite bus station in Bengaluru
Sources said services of all bus corporations affected after the majority of transport employees, including drivers and conductors, refused to report for duty on Wednesday.
In fact, many transport employees didn’t report to duty on Tuesday afternoon.
Around 30% of operations, including night schedules, were affected in four state-run bus corporations.
In addition to city services, intra-state and inter-state KSRTC operations are also affected due to the strike and many passengers stranded at bus stations across the state.
Many passengers in the city relied on auto-rickshaws, cabs, Namma Metro and private buses due to the strike.
The government has also allowed private operators to ply vehicles to ease the pressure off the commuters.
Last week, the transport department asked interested minibus/maxicab/bus owners to contact the Regional Transport Authority to apply for a permit for any route.
The plan was to issue a one-month temporary permit, but it evoked a lukewarm response. The department issued only around 50 permits across the state.
The department on Wednesday allowed many operators to run without permits.
The transport department has also allowed parking facilities for private and school vehicles ferrying passengers during the strike.
However, some private operators say there is not enough demand as the passengers were prepared for the strike.
However, some passengers who came from other cities to Bengaluru stranded at places like Majestic.
There were several complaints of auto drivers fleecing passengers.
Several private operators ran overcrowded buses and tempo travellers throwing social distancing norms despite Covid.
Many cab and auto drivers have extended moral support to the strike, but their services are available.
BMRCL has decided to increase the frequency of Metro services between 7am and 9pm.
The state government has also requested South Western Railway for 8-9 trains from Bengaluru to places like Belagavi, Bidar, Mysuru, Vijayapura, Shivamogga and Kalaburagi.
However, the South Western Railway (SWR) is awaiting the railway board’s approval to operate them.
Transport department officials said the striking employees will lose salaries and they are also mulling to impose Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).
The four-day strike by employees in December last year had crippled transport services across the state.


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Sagar Biswas

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