Commuters were stranded as buses of the four transport corporations almost came to a complete halt
The government has tried to make alternative arrangements by roping in private transport operators and sought deployment of more trains
Bus services were hit in most parts of Karnataka on Thursday as the indefinite strike of road transport corporations (RTC) employees entered the second day. The employees of road transport corporations decided to go on a strike on wage related issues from 7 April.
Commuters were stranded as buses of the four transport corporations almost came to a complete halt. Passengers travelling to and from distant areas and office-goers were the most affected. Several universities postponed the exams because of the strike.
The government has tried to make alternative arrangements by roping in private transport operators and sought deployment of more trains. Private buses, maxi cabs and other transport services were operating in different parts of the city, much to the rescue of stranded passengers. However, private operators said, the number of passengers was scarce.
"Private buses are being provided facilities at our bus terminals to operate from. They have been allowed to operate without permit, but with insurance for the convenience of the passengers. In two days we will increase their numbers and from tomorrow about 4,000 private buses, those who have surrendered permits, will operate" Karnataka deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi said.
Metro rail increased the frequency of its services between 7 AM and 9 PM.
South Western Railway (SWR) on Wednesday said that it will run additional trains from 8 April to 14 April in view of the Karnataka Road Transport Corporation Employees (KSRTC) strike. The move also aims at clearing the extra rush of the upcoming Ugadi festival.
According to an official statement, Railway Board has approved the running of the Special Express trains with special fare, due to the strike of Karnataka Road Transport Corporation Employees and for clearing extra rush of upcoming Ugadi Festival. A total of eighteen Special Express trains were listed in the statement.
"We have fulfilled eight of their (workers) nine demands, despite this they are adamant and have stopped buses, and are creating trouble for the public. I appeal to them, get back to work, we can talk," Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa said on Wednesday, according to PTI.
Workers of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC), under the banner of Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League, have given a call for strike from 7 April.
The employees' league had decided to go ahead with the strike, despite the government warning of strict action and ruling out any negotiations with them. The government had also made clear that the implementation of the 6th pay commission for transport workers was not possible, but has agreed for an 8% increase in salary as an interim relief.