The local as well as long-distance public transport services remained paralysed in Chandigarh on Thursday with the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) staff joining the nationwide strike against the proposed Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2015. The situation was no better in neighbouring SAS Nagar in Punjab and Panchkula in Haryana, where the roadways buses didn’t move from the places they had been parked the previous night.
The Inter-State Bus Terminuses in sectors 17 and 43 wore a deserted look with hardly any movement of buses. Office-goers and students were at the receiving end and had to shell out extra money to hire auto-rickshaws to reach their destinations.
Unaware of the strike, a large number of commuters remained stranded at bus stops across the city. As many as 1,800 employees of the CTU participated in the strike and more than 400 buses remained off roads in the city.
At the ISBT in Sector 17, commuters were seen clueless about the strike. Raghu Roy, a student, said, “I was not aware of the strike. No sooner was I dropped by a friend at the ISBT to catch a bus to the Industrial Area that I was told CTU buses will not ply. I will have to hire an auto-rickshaw.” There were complaints of overcharging by three-wheeler operators. The Punjab Roadways buses too were part of the strike and people suffered a lot in SAS Nagar. The long-distance commuters were the worst hit.
In Panchkula, normal life was hit as around 200 buses of Haryana Roadways remained off the road. The strike was called by the All India Road Transport Workers’ Federation. The bus services will resume after 4am on May 1.