Passengers of Volvo and other Haryana roadways buses are set to face inconvenience on Wednesday and Thursday due to the two-day strike by the state roadways workers' union, even as last-minute talks between state transport minister Aftab Ahmad and union office-bearers proved futile on Tuesday evening.
Several essential services such as electricity, water supply and health care, are also likely to be hit as workers of the Haryana Sarvkaramchari Sangh have announced a two-day strike from Wednesday.
Roadways workers' leader Sarbat Poonia told HT that their union was protesting against the government's move to give permits to private bus operators on more than 3,500 routes.
"We demand the induction of 10,000 new buses in the roadways so that our government buses can improve their functioning and also provide employment to a large number of people," Poonia said, adding that even though private buses were already plying on more than 920 routes, the government seemed hell-bent on privatising the department.
The department has about 3,800 buses, including about 150 Volvos, which would suspend plying on Wednesday and Thursday. More than 12 lakh passengers travel on these buses daily.
Sangh general secretary Subhash Lamba said all workers affiliated with the sangh would strike work for two days as they had also been protesting against the government move to privatise various departments.
Meanwhile, the state government claimed to have taken all precautionary measures in view of the strike call given by unions of employees.
An official spokesman said all divisional commissioners, range inspector generals, police commissioners and deputy commissioners had been asked to take adequate measures to ensure that no inconvenience was caused to the public and ensure smooth plying of buses and maintenance of essential services such as electricity and water supply and municipal services.
He said they had been asked to take effective steps, including imposition of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in the vicinity of important spots such as bus stands, public health and electrical installations.