Thousands stranded as Haryana Roadways employees go on strike

Thousands of commuters were stranded across the state on Tuesday as all the 4,000 buses of the Haryana Roadways kept off the roads with its employees going on one-day strike to protest against the government’s against the state government’s decision to rope in 700 private buses.

Reports from different districts showed how elderly people, women, children, employees and students suffered throughout the day due to strike.

About 12 lakh people travel daily in about 4,000 buses of Haryana Roadways which run over an average of 11 lakh km every day.

Haryana Roadways Employees’ Union general secretary Sarbat Punia said the strike was observed to protest against the state government’s decision to rope in 700 private buses as well its other initiatives which they held would lead to privatisation of the department.

Workers’ union toughens up stand

The employees’ union, however, toughened up their stand and threatened to continue their strike indefinitely if any action would be taken against

any worker. “We have learnt about the notices and subsequently called an urgent meeting in Jind on Wednesday where we would announce our next step,” Punia said.

Unauthorised taxis

Commuters had to rely on unauthorised taxis and private buses as roadways buses went off roads due to strike.Hundreds of people were stranded and could be seen struggling to reach their destinations in want to conveyance.

Elderly, students face tough time

Thousands of commuters, including elderly citizens and students, faced a tough time due to the roadways employees’ ‘Chakka Jaam’. Bus stands in the region looked deserted as the buses were parked and the protesting employees were seen playing cards and accusing the government of not fulfilling their demands.

Commuters, including the elderly, women, children, employees and students, failed to reach their destinations as the bus services remained paralysed throughout the day.

“I had come to catch a bus for Chandigarh to attend my coaching classes but am stranded due to strike,” said Ritik Sharma at Ladwa. Elderly people could be seen requesting the private bus operators to take them to their destination in already overloaded buses.

“The Chakka Jaam (strike) has become a routine affair and they don’t have any fear of the government,” said Sachin Kumar, a college student of Karnal.

Chakka jam since wee hours

The commuters in Sirsa, Fatehabad and Hisar faced hardships throughout the day because of the roadways strike.

The unions started dharna at about 3 am in front of the main gate of the bus stands and did not allow any bus to pass. Heavy police force deployment was made to maintain the law and order. Commuters had a tough time, as they they did not get any bus to reach their destinations. However, many private buses were running on various routes, which reportedly, charged exorbitantly fares from the commuters.

HC seeks report from state DGP

Meanwhile, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday sought a report from the state director general of police (DGP) on law and order condition in the state during the strike observed by roadways workers.

The court was hearing an application filed by The Hissar Vijeta Cooeprative Transport Authority, a private operator, who had told court that roadways workers last year had given an undertaking that they would first engage in talks before striking work. In the morning, the court summoned the advocate general BR Mahajan for afternoon hearing. Later, Mahajan informed that no untoward incident had been reported in the state.

First Published: Aug 08, 2018 10:42 IST

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