BENGALURU: Buses of all four transport corporations were off the roads from Tuesday evening, leaving many commuters stranded in Karnataka.
The strike was announced by drivers and conductors of unions from BMTC, KSRTC, NEKSRTC and NEKSRTC on Monday. According to unions: "The protest will continue indefinitely as the government has not met our demands for the last 115 days. We agree that people are inconvenienced but they should think of us also. Already the government has started to implement salary cut. But they should not forget that we have been getting only half salary so far."
#KSRTC & #BMTC bus stands in Majestic have a few private buses plying as the employees have gone on strike demanding pay revisions.— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) April 7, 2021
Express video | @MeghanaSastry.@XpressBengaluru #BMTCStrike pic.twitter.com/rNC8OMBGXs
In the meantime, the transport department gave the green signal for private buses to ply as an alternative. But it could not replace the services of government operated buses completely. Many commuters were stranded at bus stands and Majestic, Yeshwanthpur, Mysuru Road and other bus depots in Bengaluru.
The situation was the same in other parts of the state too. Those traveling to and from other districts for work or on daily basis were a worried lot.
In the absence of bus services, there were long queues of passengers at Metro rail stations including Majestic, Yeshwanthpur and other places.
Auto drivers were making the most of the opportunity by charging double for short distances. Ola and Uber taxi services were also running as per their bookings.
As the day progressed, the transport department issued a circular stating that they had decided to make temporary alternative arrangements to the Motor Vehicle Act where reduced charges be levied for issuing licences and insurance to private vehicles so that they can run till government buses are back on the roads. Transport officials said this was essential as many private vehicle owners had surrendered their licences after the lockdown as they couldn't make ends meet during the pandemic.
Some residents, who were aware of the protest, had made alternate arrangements to reach their workplaces, while others decided to work from home.