Transport strike looms: No alternative so far


Workers firm on striking from April 7 even as Transport Department is yet to hear from pvt bus and maxi operators


The Transport Department has received no response from private bus operators and maxi cabs to run alternative services across the state including in Bengaluru in case the transport workers — employed by four state-run bus transport corporations such as KSRTC and BMTC — go ahead with an indefinite strike starting from April 7. Officials were hoping that the protest plan would be withdrawn. The department, however, has a day’s time to make alternative transport arrangements.

Transport Commissioner N Shivakumar said that they have not got any response so far. “No service provider came forward. We are hoping that the protest plan would be withdrawn. If not, we will start talking to the private bus operations tomorrow,” he said.

It’s learnt that the bunch of unions that called for the protest will go ahead as per the plan. “We had put forth our demands in December last year. The government had full three months time to implement them,” a union leader said. He was not convinced with the assurance given by Transport Minister Laxman Savadi.



In a press meet on Monday, Savadi said that the government is willing to bring 1.3 lakh transport workers under the 6th pay commission

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. “Since the model code of conduct is in place, we will not be able to implement it immediately. We have written to the election commission,” he said. The minister urged the workers to withdraw the protest. “If you go ahead with the protest, we will not be able to fulfil your demands till May 4 as the model code of conduct is in place,” Savadi told the transport workers.

So far, the government has had six rounds of discussions on providing salaries to the transport workers on par with the recommendations of the 6th pay commission. “The changes would lead to additional burden of Rs 3,800 crore on the four transport corporations over the next four years. There has also been a discussion on ways to mobilise the money through various means internally,” he said and added that the government has accepted all the other demands put forth by the unions.

The government said that the protest called by the unions is likely to disrupt the service as it had last year. At least 65 lakh people use buses on a daily basis across the state.



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Sagar Biswas

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