K’taka transport unions protest affects bus service

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Bengaluru, 11 Dec 2020: Frustrated over the inordinate delays in payment of their salaries on time, employees working with four of the Karnataka state-run transport corporations refused to report on duty on Friday following which bus services were largely affected across the state while Bengaluru came to a screeching halt.


The situation was largely exploited by cab and auto rickshaw drivers as they doubled the fare to ferry passengers from bus stands and railway stations in Bengaluru.


The employees want to be considered as government employees and demanded that they should be brought under the government’s payroll, given the same privileges and incentives as any government employee gets.


Besides, they have demanded a compensation of Rs 30 lakh to those transport employees who died during Covid duties.


Meanwhile, speaking to reporters here on Friday, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister, Lakshman Savadi who is also in charge of the transport department, appealed to the employees to report to duty immediately in order to avoid public inconvenience.


"I have asked transport workers unions to meet me this afternoon and am sure that good news will come soon," he said while reacting to transport employee unions’ protest.


"I know they did not get salaries on time but it is wrong to state that the state government had abandoned them," he retorted in response to a question.


He claimed that no employees of BMTC has reported to duty but in three other interstate transport corporations were functioning "as usual".


Over 1.2 lakh employees work with state run transport corporation - Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, North-East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation, North-West Karnataka Road Transport Corporations which primarily engaged to ferry both interstate and intrastate passengers across various parts of the country and state.


Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is a public transport bus service that operates exclusively within Bengaluru.


The BMTC alone has a fleet of 6,500 buses, and had a ridership of nearly 36 lakh a day prior to the pandemic, while the other three state run corporations together operate nearly 8,000 buses and of them, nearly 2,500 buses run from Bengaluru alone.



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