BENGALURU : After refusing to turn up for work for five days now, the agitating employees of all the four road transport corporations have decided to escalate their protests. They have decided to stage protests outside the offices of the District Commissioners and tahsildars, by banging plates, pots and pans after the government refused to yield to their demands.
On the other hand, the government is steadfast that action will be initiated on employees who don’t return to work immediately. Thousands of state government buses have stayed off the roads since April 7 as employees, led by farmer leader Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, have been on an indefinite strike demanding pay recommended by the 6th Pay Commission and recognition as state government employees.
“We have been protesting silently so far, but the government has refused to listen to us. Transport corporation employees and their family members will stage a statewide protest on Monday by banging plates and glasses in front of the offices of every tahsildar and DC,” said Chandrashekhar, who has been named honorary head of the protest.
Deputy Chief Minister and Transport Minister Laxman Savadi on Sunday reiterated that the 6th Pay Commission salaries cannot be paid to transport department workers. Meanwhile, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) dismissed 62 trainee and 60 probationary employees from service on Sunday for striking work. By Sunday evening, the number of bus services by all four road transport corporations in Karnataka had increased despite the strike.
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporationh (KSRTC) operated 1,230 services, BMTC 294 North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) 592, and North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) 390. A total of 2,506 services had resumed by Sunday evening.
However, although people in Bengaluru were largely safe from being stranded in any location as the strike entered the sixth day, those seeking to go to their native places for Ugadi festivities faced a problem of transport.