Wearing uniforms by the staff of the private buses and those of the state-owned Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) still seems to be a remote possibility. Even after 24 days since the Faridkot police instructed the bus operators to follow the instruction in this direction, little seems to have changed.
Even most of the buses have still audio video systems and halt in the roads leading to a traffic chaos. The problem of waiting for the passengers from the other buses by parking them on the road is worst in Kotkapura where buses are stopped on the Moga road outside the bus stand at the T-point on the Bathinda road. The buses are either stopped there outside the bus stand or are moved slowly leading to a traffic chaos on the narrow and busiest road of the town.
"Nothing has changed, nobody wears uniforms, and audio video systems are there, buses also stop at the places other than bus stands, illegal checking points by the private bus operators are also there. The announcements in this regard were perhaps made by the government only to defuse the public ire against private bus operators," said Rajinder Singh, general secretary of the Punjab Students Union (PSU) from Faridkot.
Most of the drivers and conductors of the private buses are still seen wearing the usual clothes as before the police instructed them to wear uniforms after the Moga incident.
"We are yet to get uniforms and when our employers will provide us with them, we shall wear them," said a conductor of the private bus.
"We have provided uniforms to about 50% of our staff, and the rest would also get them soon. We have also removed the pressure horns and music systems from our buses," said Satpal Singh, in-charge of Deep Bus Service in Faridkot when asked about the staff not wearing uniforms.
Worst, most of the drivers and conductors of the state- owned PRTC (Pepsu roadways Transport Corporation) also do not have proper uniforms. "We do not get any uniforms from our employer and we wear usual clothes," said a conductor of the PRTC wishing not to be quoted.
"Now most of the staff of the PRTC is hired on contract basis and they are not being provided any uniforms. As for as the regular staff is concerned, they get uniforms and wear them," said Sukhdev Singh Malhi, a PRTC union leader from Faridkot.
"We shall provide uniforms to the staff when we get them from the head office," said Harpal Singh Randhawa, general manager of the Faridkot depot of the PRTC.
"I shall get it checked and if the violation is there, the police would fine them. We are very strict about it," said Bikramjeet Singh, SP (Investigation), Faridkot.
The police had, on May 5, instructed the staff of private buses to wear uniforms with name plates, remove pressure horns, install CCTV cameras, and also remove audio-visual devices from the buses.