Bus services were also affected in most parts of the state on Friday, the third day of the indefinite strike by the drivers and operators of the Road Transport Corporation (RTC) over pay-related issues in Karnataka. As most of the employees of all the four transport corporations did not come to work, buses were missing from most of the roads across the state, including in Bengaluru, causing inconvenience to commuters. Seeing the impact of the strike, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa appealed to end the strike with folded hands and asked him to return to his work.
Arguing Congress leader Siddaramaiah, he said, ‘I join hands and appeal to the transport workers. Do not listen to what people are saying and do not be stubborn. Despite the problems of last year, when there was no money for salary in your department, we gave 23 crores. Siddaramaiah is giving you wrong information. ‘ Let me tell you that Congress leaders are a constant attacker on the Yediyurappa government regarding the issue of Siddaramaiah strike.
Earlier on Thursday evening, the state government once again made it clear that the government would not agree to the demands of the implementation of the report of the Sixth Pay Commission. At the same time, despite warnings of strict action, RTC employees decided to continue the strike.
Due to the strike, people in remote areas and office goers were the most affected by this strike. In order to remove the inconvenience caused to the people due to the strike, the government made arrangements to take services of private transport operators and to run some special trains. Private buses, mini buses, maxi cabs and other transport vehicles were also seen plying in many parts of the state. Metro has also increased its services from 7 am to 9 pm.
Many private operators said that most of the passengers are still facing trouble. Sources said that some RTC employees returned to work following the threat of imposing the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) and buses took to the streets at some places. Transport Department Principal Secretary Anjum Parvez had said on Thursday that as a temporary arrangement, the retired employees have been requested to return to service in the last two years.
He said, ‘He needs to be physically fit and his eyes will also be examined. He also requested the employees to return to work, as the government has accepted eight of their nine demands and decided to get an eight percent wage hike as interim relief. He said that about Rs 20 crore is being lost every day due to the strike.
Significantly, the personnel of BMTC, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) under strike under the banner of Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League from April 7 Was called.