The members of several organisations conducted a meeting to discuss their long pending demands with the state transport department and shared a plan of action regarding the same here at the Ludhiana depot on Wednesday.
While addressing the heads of various unions, Manjit Singh, secretary, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), said, "Despite being well aware of the profitability of several routes, transport department has stalled several Punjab Roadways buses from those routes. The buses from Ludhiana to Bathinda, Jaiton, Ganganagar, Nangal, Naina Devi and Patiala have been taken off road years ago while giving in to the political pressure so that a few private players can benefit from these routes."
Pardeep Singh, president, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), said, "The unnecessary intervention of private bus operators who are influencing the timetable up to a larger extent and timings of Punjab Roadways buses are adjusted in a manner so that a few private players who owe their allegiance to the ruling government can benefit from it."
The counter time (staying time) at the bus stand for Punjab Roadways buses varies from two to three minutes while that of the private buses is seven to 10 minutes. This has caused losses, which amounts to crores of rupees every year but the state transport despite being well aware of the situation has merely played a mute spectator."
It is pertinent to mention here that the Punjab Roadways employees have resorted to district and state wide protest for their demands in the past also.
Major Singh, president of employees union, said, "Despite sanctioning Rs 62 lakhs towards providing uniforms for all the roadways employees last year, none of the employees has received it yet. Transport department announced induction of more than 300 buses it its fleet last year which is yet to materialise, loan-free buses are still not being merged in Punjab Roadways fleet so that contractual employees can be regularised to run them and pending overtime payments are some of the major pending demands which needs to be addressed on priority."
The members also demanded a CBI inquiry into the recent Moga incident.
Among those present at the meeting were SC Union president Sucha Singh, Clerical Staff Union president Gurucharan Singh, AITUC president Pardeep Singh, INTUC general secretary Singara Singh, Karamchari Dal Union president Avtar Singh, Workers' Union president Rajinder Singh, Driver Union president Swaran Singh, Conductors' Union president Parduman Singh and Clerical Union president Prabhjot Singh.