Bangaloreans will have to endure another day without public transport as the strike called by KSRTC and BMTC employee unions enters its second day. There was no breakthrough in a late-night meeting between union leaders and Principal Secretary Transport Department P Ravikumar.
The meeting, held in the absence of Transport Minister and Deputy CM R Ashok, began at 8 pm.
The strike was successful in most parts of the state on Thursday and Bangalore bore the brunt with BMTC services severely crippled.
Stranded commuters were at the mercy of autorickshaw drivers, who exploited the situation.
“BMTC buses made only 300 trips as compared to 80,000 trips on a normal day. Only important areas like Jayanagar, K R Market and Shivajinagar were covered and we arranged for buses based on the crowds gathered,” said a senior official.
In all, only 200 of the 6,044 BMTC buses were on the roads on day one of the strike.
According to sources, the unions had strongly pushed for scrapping of the training period for all employees, besides regularisation of 33,000 trainees and consideration of the recently announced 10 per cent hike as an interim relief.
They also wanted cases against the arrested union members to be dropped.
The union leaders demanded that Ravikumar give his reply in writing. But the secretary had not got back with a reply. While KSRTC suffered losses of around Rs 6 crore, BMTC lost revenues of Rs 3 crore. The average daily revenue of BMTC is Rs 4 crore, officials said.
BMTC was forced to run with the help of a skeletal staff. Volvo services, which were unaffected on Wednesday, were stopped on Thursday as the division’s employees too joined the strike.
Officials reported stonepelting on Thursday at Peenya, Rajajinagar, Tumkur Road, Magadi Road, K R Puram and Bannerghatta Road. However, no one was injured. Around 25 buses were damaged.
Bus services were hit in most parts of the state barring Haveri, Koppal, Raichur, Belgaum and Mangalore.