BENGALURU: In a big blow to employees of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, who are keen on going ahead with the March 22 strike, the state government has officially brought Bangalore Metro Rail Service under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) through a formal notification. This implies that strict action, including imprisonment, can be initiated against Metro employees regardless of the stay ordered by the High Court in another ESMA case.
The notification states that the ‘government of Karnataka is of the opinion that a refusal to work by Employees of BMRCL either on permanent basis, on contract, temporary or outsourcing basis would prejudicially affect the maintenance of public utility services which are necessary for the life of the community or would result in the infliction of grave hardship on the community’.
Urban Development Additional Chief Secretary Mahendra Jain said, “Through this notification, Metro services have been brought under the purview of essential services under the ESMA Act. It is only after the notification that it can be invoked if and when necessary.”