More Hassles for Commuters as KSRTC Strike Continues- More Private Buses put Into Service
Mangaluru: While the KSRTC bus strike was a success for the Bus Union on its first day on Wednesday, 7 April, the Union have announced that the stir will continue indefinitely until the State government agrees to their demand. The Union has sought implementation of the Sixth pay Commission. The KSRTC bus stand at Bejai in the City wore a deserted look with only stranded passengers spending their time and waiting for a chance to board any buses that came to their rescue. In the meantime, ONLY one KSRTC Ultra Deluxe ‘Rajahamsa’ bus from Mangaluru to Bengaluru was put into service- even though the bus which was supposed to departure at 7 am took off only at 7:30 am due to less passengers, and one passenger with no other choice to reach for a meeting in Hassan was Karnataka Jesuit Provincial Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ, the former rector of St Aloysius Institutions.
As many commuters were stranded in Mangaluru who had come to Mangaluru for their required work, were ferried to their destinations as many private buses were put into operations on a majority of routes- and their services will continue until the KSRTC strike ends. Arrangements have been made by the KSRTC department and district administration to ensure that passengers didn’t face any inconveniences. Due to the strike, KSRTC has incurred a loss of Rs 60 lakh on the strike first day, as per an official of RTC.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Dilraj Alva, the president of DK Private Bus Operators’ Association said, “On Wednesday we had nearly 40 contract carriage buses operating on a daily basis to Uppinangady and Puttur areas. Ten private buses were put into service towards Dharmasathala, two buses each to Subramanya and Mysuru, and one bus to Hassan. RTO has also issued temporary permits for the maxi cabs and private buses to operate in rural areas. We will add more private buses on Thursday so that people who were stranded could reach their destinations”.
The KSRTC strike had affected many pilgrims who wanted to visit Kukke Subramanya Temple, and many who had already reached the temple prior to the strike faced a lot of inconveniences to travel back to their native places. Meanwhile, it is learnt that Mangaluru University postponed its exam for UG students following the KSRTC strike. As many private buses were operating in the absence of KSRTC buses, the passengers did not feel the heat of the strike. The daily passengers travelling between Udupi and Mangaluru remained unaffected. Only those who had planned their travel outside the districts were affected.
Meantime unhappy over the decision taken by the KSRTC bus Union CM Yediyurappa who was busy campaigning in Belgavi by-polls elections said, “The state government has fulfilled eight of the nine demands and has also announced an 8% salary hike. In these tough times, it is wrong to go on an indefinite strike. I hope they do not force a situation where tough measures will be enforced. I have invited the bus Union members for a talk on Thursday so that a proper solution is chalked out to end the strike”.
Also in the meantime, DK Deputy Commissioner Dr K V Rajendra said that the district administration is considering using the services of the more than 2000 heavy vehicle driving licence holders in the district to run KSRTC buses. DC has also said that the administration will get a list of educational institutions that are solely reliant on KSRTC buses and make necessary transport arrangements for their students. A grievance redressal mechanism will be put in place in Mangaluru and Puttur to address complaints such as over-charging and overloading of passengers. It is learnt that already private vehicles have been charging exorbitant fares in the absence of KSRTC buses.