Transport strike call gets tepid response

Transport strike call gets tepid response

People board a city bus in Hosapete as private vehicles.

The transport strike, called by Left-backed organisations, did not affect public and private transport as buses and taxis operated normally on Tuesday, except in Hosapete.

The associations backed by Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) and the Left parties had called for a strike to protest against the Motor Vehicle Act (Amendment) Bill-2017, which they described as the Centre’s latest effort to privatise the transport sector.

Though the Left-backed the All India Coordination Committee of Road Transport Workers’ Organisations, it did not change things on the ground as local organisations distanced themselves from the strike call. The CITU-associated unions in Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) as well as the Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union supported the strike and took part in a protest at Town Hall. Decrying the proposed Bill, their leaders said several provisions in the bill are against the interest of crores of people who earn their livelihood through driving taxis or autos.

The bus services in Bengaluru and across the state were operated as usual. A KSRTC official said 4,211 of the 4,331 services were operated on Tuesday. “No incidents of stone pelting or any damage to the buses were reported. The departure of some schedules was delayed due to technical issues,” the official said. Besides, the BMTC buses and Namma Metro trains, there was no disruption in cabs and autorickshaw operations in Bengaluru.

However, the strike was a success in Hosapete in Ballari district as various taluk transport workers’ associations supported it. There was no movement of private vehicles and autorickshaws. As a result, people, who had come from other places through trains and buses, struggled to reach their destination. Only a few city buses were seen on the roads. The attendance of students in schools and colleges was very low.

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