Delhi Metro commuters who depend on the Metro feeder bus services are facing a tough time due to a strike called by the bus drivers.
With a large section of drivers on strike since January 7, about 60 per cent of the buses are off the roads. The Metro stations that have been most affected are Yamuna Bank, Shastri Park, Dwarka sector 9 and 10, Janakpuri West, Kirti Nagar, Uttam Nagar and Welcome.
Feeder bus services were available on two routes from Yamuna Bank — ML 44, connecting it with Mayur Vihar and ML 46, connecting it with Jheel.
The drivers who are on strike, are demanding better pay and other facilities from the contractor RBT Metro Feeder Services. “We are on hunger strike since Sunday,”said Ajay Swami, a member of the driver’s union. “We had gone on strike in December too but our demands were not met.”
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had given the contract for its feeder bus services to RBT. As of now, 100 feeder buses are run on 15 routes. “We have terminated about 300 drivers due to misbehavior,” said Keshav Lakhotia, Managing Director of RBT.
“The strike is partial and the operator is replacing drivers. Services will be restored by Wednesday,” said a DMRC spokesperson. “We have extended all possible help to the operator.” DMRC had also floated a tender for a new operator sometime ago but didn't receive any bids and the last date has extended the date to February 2010. Commuters cannot even depend on the official helpline number (011-128128) on the DMRC website and the announcements in the metro trains due to inaccuracies in the information.