Arjun Singh Brar, a resident of Chandigarh, was able to take a luxury class bus of the Haryana Roadways on Friday from Gurgaon after waiting for three days to avail of one.
Being a Hemophilia patient, Arjun is entitled to travel for free on any Haryana Roadways bus. However, it wasn’t until the indefinite strike by the employees’ of the transport utility was called off on Thursday night that he could harbour hopes of boarding the bus again.
Arjun was one the many commuters across Haryana who could avail of the intercity and interstate bus services of Haryana Roadways on Friday as they were back on the roads after being grounded briefly due to the stir. The resumption of service brought smiles back on the faces of thousands of commuters.
The four-day strike by roadways employees ended after the Haryana government withdrew its new transport policy, which allowed issuance of permits to private operators.
In the absence of Haryana Roadways, many commuters were either travelling to New Delhi in order to take a connecting bus to their destinations or relying on buses of other state transport undertakings. However, the ride on other buses not only came at a higher cost but also resulted in them taking a lot longer to reach their destinations.
“Apart from those plied by Haryana Roadways, there is no direct bus to Gurgaon. Hence, to reach Gurgaon, I had to take a Punjab Roadways bus from Chandigarh on Wednesday till Kashmiri Gate in New Delhi and then take the Delhi Metro to reach Gurgaon. This had added two hours to my travel time. I also had to shell out ₹200 more to make the commute. With the strike now over, I can reach home without much hassle,” Kulwant Sandhu, a resident of Zirakpur, said.
Over 3,500 buses across the state had been pulled out of the roads in the light of the stir. Of these, 262 buses ply within Gurgaon and to other destinations. These include 27 luxury buses plying between Gurgaon and Chandigarh.
“My carpet business often takes me to Panipat from Gurgaon and back. I board the Haryana Roadways bus to travel between the two cities. However, due to the strike, I had to travel till Samaypur Badli in New Delhi and then take a private taxi to Panipat. It nearly burned a hole in my pocket. The resumption of services (on Friday) has not only helped me cut down my commuting expenses, but has also enabled me to get back to my bi-weekly travel routine,” Farooq Nazar, a resident of Sushant Lok Phase 1, said.