Haryana Roadways strike: Govt appeals protestors to resume work from today

October 29, 2018 12:11 PM

Various government staff unions on Sunday announced statewide stir on October 30-31 to mount pressure on the state governmen
Punjab News Express
ROHTAK: Backing the demands of Haryana Roadways employees who have been on strike since October 16, various government employees’ unions on Sunday announced a two-day statewide strike — on October 30-31 — in a bid to further mount pressure on the state government.

During a state-level meeting of the Haryana Sarv Karmchari Mahasangh in Rohtak on Sunday, union’s president Subhash Lamba said that on October 30 and 31, employees of power corporations, schools, universities, municipal corporation, panchayat samitis etc will go on strike to support the demands of roadways employees for scrapping the kilometre policy of the government.

Meanwhile, even as different employees unions adopted tough stand and threatened to further escalate their stir, the state government appealed the agitating roadways employees —drivers, conductors, workshop staff and clerks —to resume duty in view of the festival season.

Also, the government appealed all the unions and the coordination committee members to resume duty on Monday, assuring that it is ready to discuss all the “genuine demands” sympathetically.
As the transport department employees have been on strike since October 16 against the state government’s move to hire 720 private buses under a kilometre scheme, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Karnal said the private buses were being introduced to provide better transportation to the people of the state.

The 13th day of strike

The government claimed that 2,503 buses operated across the state on Sunday and that over 350 roadways employees also joined their duty.

Deepak Balhara, deputy general secretary of the roadways union, said they will hold a road show in Rohtak on Monday after which the next course of action will be announced. In a bid to garner public support, the roadways leaders are visiting villages, informing them about the compelling reasons behind this strike.

The grievance

The grouse of unions on strike is that hiring private buses is a first step towards privatisation of the transport department. But the state government has dismissed these apprehensions as baseless.

There are about 19,000 employees in the Haryana Roadways catering to 12 lakh passengers daily with a fleet of 4,100 buses.

“If the state government does not have money, we pledge to donate our one-month salary so it can purchase 720 new roadways buses rather than hiring them on km scheme basis that will push roadways to privatisation. Now the government cannot give excuses of cash crunch,” said Lamba. The meeting, attended by various other unions, slammed the government for imposing ESMA and arresting the protesting roadways employees.

Meanwhile in Rohtak, the bus drivers parked their buses haphazardly at the bus stand, not allowing any private bus to enter the premises. Many people living in rural areas who wanted to shop in the city for the upcoming festive season were left harassed due to the strike.

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