Govt slammed for roping in 'rookie' drivers

Govt slammed for roping in 'rookie' drivers

Bus strike: BMTC, KSRTC run skeletal service but commuting was far from easy on Day 2

Govt slammed for roping in 'rookie' drivers

On the second day of the strike by transport corporation staff, a few BMTC and KSRTC buses resumed operations on Tuesday evening despite strong resistance from trade unions and agitating employees.

The government’s move was criticised by trade unions and people who said untrained drivers were allowed to operate buses. Sources said mechanics and car drivers of officers and trainee drivers were roped in to resume services.

A statement issued by the KSRTC claimed that KSRTC drivers with valid heavy motor vehicle licences were pressed into service. Heeding the request, a woman driver-cum-conductor also operated a bus in Davangere division, the release added. Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse employees of the union when they tried to stop buses. However, no one was injured.

KSRTC managing director Rajender Kumar Kataria told DH that services will be stepped up gradually. At present, a few buses started plying on the roads in various divisions of the KSRTC. He hoped the entire fleet would be operational by Wednesday.

Officials in the Transport department told Deccan Herald that the decision was taken after the unions didn’t respond to their efforts to mitigate the transport crisis. Travelling public were put to hardship for two days as public transport buses remained off the roads.

Officials said services will be continued on Wednesday with the help of police. Meanwhile, traffic police seized a few private buses and autorickshaws for charging exorbitant fares.