The Haryana Roadways employees’ union called off their strike on Thursday evening after the government agreed to its demand to scrap new transport policy that gave permits to private operators.
The talks between the state government and the union had earlier failed twice since Monday.
On Thursday, the two sides reached an agreement during the talks between transport minister Krishan Lal Panwar and union leaders, including union president Inder Singh Bhadana and general secretary Sarbat Punia.
The government also accepted union’s demand to reinstate 120 employees and leaders who were suspended for going on strike sans prior notice.
The union had gone on a flash strike on Monday after the government refused to accept their demand against issuing of permits to private bus operators, putting thousands of commuters across the state in a great inconvenience.
However, the government has refused to cancel the permits given to 853 buses for 273 routes in the state.
The state exchequer has reportedly suffered a loss of about Rs 15 crore due to the strike since Monday evening.
While the union was protesting against the permits to private operators, the government held that the roadways had about 3,500 buses against the requirement of 13,000 buses and the permits to the private operators was to meet the commuters’ convenience. The government maintained that while 300 new buses have already been purchased, tenders for another 300 were in final stage. In addition, 300 buses would be added to the roadways fleet during the current financial year.
Panwar told HT that the government had agreed to withdraw 2016-2017 transport policy and reinstate the suspended employees. “It has also been agreed upon to form a fresh transport policy with the involvement of roadways union representatives, besides others,” he added.
Meanwhile, with roadways buses keeping off the roads, private operators ran their buses during the past three days. Additional police force had been deployed in sensitive areas, including Jind and Rohtak, to avert any conflict between private operators and the roadways union. However, people across the state went through a harrowing time due to the strike, struggling to reach their respective destinations.