Passengers left stranded as strike hits bus services in Rajasthan

Commuters in the city were left stranded for hours on Monday as government buses remained off the road due to the two-day strike call given by the employees of Jaipur City Transport Service Ltd (JCTSL).

The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) employees have also been on strike since Sunday midnight.

In the absence of city buses, the commuters had to wait for longer time to board private buses. Several school and college students were seen waiting for transport at various bus stops. A school student, Dayanita Sharma, waiting near Khetan Hospital Chauraha, was unable to board a bus even after waiting at the bus stop for more than 30 minutes. Sharma said that 10 minutes have been the longest time she has ever waited for a city bus prior to the strike. “Being a girl I have always felt safe commuting in a city bus after the classes get over. I still don’t want to travel in a private bus, but I am left with no option,” Sharma said.

Overcrowded private buses were a common sight in the city, as several commuters were seen hanging out of the exit doors of the running buses.

Manish Jangir, an employee at a private company near Chomu Mod, was returning home to Pratapnagar when he had to look for options to commute since private buses passing by were overcrowded. “For an hour, I have been unable to board any bus that has passed by because all of them were overcrowded. Problem is that auto-rickshaws are not readily available too due to increase in demand,” he said.

The roadways bus stations in the city had been deserted and the only thing visible at Sindhi Camp bus stand was the tents set up by the protestors – the staff members of RSRTC – along with police personnel on duty. Almost 1,300 roadways buses were halted at various bus stations, which affected almost 10 lakh regular passengers.

Rajasthan Roadways Employees’ Union president ML Yadav said that the passengers facing problems in commuting is not because of the RSRTC staff, but because the government failed to constitute the committee that was agreed upon in the given time. “We have burnt effigies, organised rallies and went on a strike prior to the present one. The government still doesn’t seem to be willing to look into our demands. We were left with no other option but to go on a strike,” said Yadav.

This is the second strike this year by the union members, who are demanding implementation of the seventh pay commission among other things.

The JCTSL bus stations had a similar sight. The Vidyadhar Nagar bus depot had empty city buses lined up at the station. The drivers present at the station complained about irregular salaries and inadequate communication with the concerned officers.

“We have not received salaries for the past three months. How does the government expect us to work? We understand that the commuters are facing problems, but the government has to be particular about our salaries and respond to our demand to implement seventh pay commission,” said Mukesh Kumar Yadav, a city bus driver protesting at Vidyadhar Nagar bus station.

JCTSL managing director Suresh Kumar Ola said that JCTSL will respond to the demand of employees by recommending implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission for them.

First Published: Sep 18, 2018 05:05 IST

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