KSRTC employees stir total in DK

KSRTC employees stir total in DK

Students and commuters from rural areas affected

The normal life in rural pockets of Dakshina Kannada district was affected on Monday following an indefinite strike called by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees’ unions. However, the strike did not affect Mangaluru city as a large number of private buses operate in the region.

The KSRTC bus stands in Mangaluru, Sullia, Puttur, Belthangady, Bantwal and Vittal wore a deserted look. Only Kerala State Road Transport Corporation was operating service between Mangaluru and Kasargod, Puttur and Kasargod and Sullia and Kasargod.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Hanumanthappa, a native of Koppal who was waiting in a bus shelter, said he was not aware of the strike.

He, with his family of three, were travelling back to his native place after completing their work in the city. “Hoping to travel to my native place, we had come to the bus stand  late night on Sunday. We hope at least by evening, the bus services will start. Otherwise, we have no where to go other than stay in the bus stand.”

Sakavva from Hanagal was also waiting at the bus stand said she too was unaware of the strike.

Police were stationed at the bus stand to ensure that no untoward incidents occur.

An official said, “We are protesting against meagre hike of 8% in our salary and waiting for the government to respond to our demand. The state government has taken a unilateral decision to increase the wages by 8 %, which cannot be accepted by employees. The employees are demanding a 35% hike in salaries, extension of medical benefits to dependents of employees, hike in daily allowance for drivers and conductors to Rs 300, an increase in the repast allowance to at least Rs 100 and opening of subsidised canteen in all the depots.”

Private buses connect the nook and corner of Mangaluru. But the strike affected people in rural areas of Patrame, Arasinamakki, Kayarthada, Shibaraje, Neriya, Charmadi, Didupe, Belalu, Barangaya, Shishila, Kokkada, Periyadka in Puttur and Belthangady taluk, Kalmakaru, Balugodu, Kollamogru, Harihara, Nadugalli, Ainekidu, Guthigaru, Balpa, Panja, Beedigudde, Kenya, Kalmadka, Ninthikal, Enmoor, Alekkadi, Kaniyoor, Alangaru, Kadaba, Mardala, Nettana, Bilinele, Nelyadi, Gundya and Kenjala in Sullia taluk.

Divisional KSRTC Divisional Controller Vivekanand Hegde said the division has 450 buses with 245 departures within the district. All buses remained off the road. However, all the long-route buses have reached their destinations from Mangaluru  on Sunday night, he added.

No holidays
Schools and colleges remained open. Attendance of students in schools and colleges in rural areas, especially in Bantwal, Belthangady, Sullia and Puttur was less as the students rely on KSRTC buses.

The attendance of students in colleges at Uppinangady, Kadaba, Keyoor, Sullia, Kaniyoor and Belthangady was also less. 

In several rural areas, students had to travel on the footboard of private buses to reach the college.

A few colleges in Belthangady taluk had declared holiday.

Less pilgrims
The number of pilgrims visiting Dharmasthala Sri Manjunatheshwara Temple and Kukke Subramanya temple was also less.

Some private buses from Moodbidri and Karkala via Naravi to Dharmasthala provided a relief to the visitors from Dharmasthala.

Pvt vehicles in demand
In the wake of the strike, people were seen dependent on private and own vehicles for commuting . Several commuters complained that private transporters were overcharging. Hotels and business establishments at KSRTC bus stand at Sullia were closed as there were no customers.

Shivarama, a stall owner, said, “Hope the strike ends soon. Without business, we find it difficult to pay the rent.”

Encashing the KSRTC strike, the private buses were collecting Rs 750 per ticket to Bengaluru instead of Rs 500.

CFI flays dist admin
Campus Front of India (CFI) condemned the district administration for not declaring holidays for schools and colleges.

In a release, office-bearers of the forum said the students who possess bus pass also faced inconvenience. Students from Udupi, Puttur and Belthangady, who come to Mangaluru to study, were affected and had to travel on the jam-packed private buses, the forum said in the press release.  

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