Government-run bus services in Bengaluru and across the state including those travelling interstate will be majorly affected on Wednesday as the Karnataka government refused to negotiate on demands of Karnataka Road Transport Corporations Employees Association (KRCTA). One of the primary contentions of the workers are to be enlisted as government employees and get pay according to the 6th Pay Commission among other demands.
On the other hand, transport workers who have rallied under farmer leader and KSRTEA president Kodihalli Chandrashekhar said that even if the government wants to enforce the Essential Services Management Act (ESMA) then 1.30 lakh people, including the family members of the KRTC employees, are ready to go to jail.
Chandrashekhar, told reporters that the state government had given a written assurance on December 15, 2020 when the association had called off its indefinite agitation.
On December 12, the day of protest, there were no BMTC departures while KSRTC finished only 33% of their schedules.
Speaking with reporters following a meeting with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar, said, "The government will no longer negotiate with them.” Subsequently, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporations, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation issued orders stating that employees on Wednesday won’t get their salary for the day.
Deputy CM and Transport Minister Laxman Savadi too on Monday had indicated that the government will accept all the other minor demands and a paltry 8% pay hike. Savadi has also warned that the current government monopoly over short distance bus services will be lifted and private buses will be allowed to use government bus stations to relieve the publi
Meanwhile what may be a minor relief for the public, the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited has said it will be stepping up the frequency throughout the metro operational hours between 7.00 am to 9.00 pm with immediate effec
Trains will run with a frequency of 4.5 minutes on the Purple Line and 5 minutes on the Green Line. But it may be noted only smart card users will be allowed to board trains. While new smart cards can be bought at stations, only credit/debit cards and UPI will be accepted as mode of payment. Alternatively existing smart card users can top up their card online through the BMRCL app.
While a section of cab drivers have shown their moral support to the transport sector, they said their service will be available on Wednesday.
Update: In light of the strike called by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation workers, many universities including Bangalore University and the Bengaluru Central University have postponed the examinations that were scheduled to be held on April 7.