Farm bills: Ludhiana passengers left in the lurch as Punjab Roadways staff stage strike

They protested from 12am to 1pm and raised slogans against the central government.
A traffic jam was caused after private bus operators had to park their buses outside the Amar Shaheed Sukhdev Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT) in Ludhiana on Saturday.(Gurpreet Singh/HT)
A traffic jam was caused after private bus operators had to park their buses outside the Amar Shaheed Sukhdev Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT) in Ludhiana on Saturday.(Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Updated on Dec 06, 2020 12:34 AM IST
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Hindustan Times/Ludhiana | By, Ludhiana

Passengers at the Amar Shaheed Sukhdev Inter-State Bus terminal (ISBT) were left a harried lot after the Punjab Roadways and PRTC employees’ unions observed a one-hour strike on Saturday to extend their support to the farmers’ agitation against the farm bills.

They protested from 12am to 1pm and raised slogans against the central government. They demanded that the Centre roll back the decision to introduce the farm laws and continue with the old system.

The bus stand wore a deserted look as the gates were closed by the members of the unions. Chaos was also witnessed outside as private operators parked the buses on the road which led to traffic snarls.

The one-hour protest affected the movement of over 80 buses and passengers had a hard time finding buses for their desired route.

Due to the farmers’ agitation in Delhi, over nine Volvo buses (three of Punbus and six of PRTC) operating from Ludhiana to Delhi ISBT and Ludhiana to Gurgaon have been suspended.

Basant Singh, 65, said, “I have been trying to find a bus for Malerkotla for the last half an hour. But, due to the protest, we are stuck at the bus stand. My wife has knee problems and cannot stand for long hours. It is sheer harassment for the public and protests must be held outside central government offices.”

Another passenger, Sunita Rani, who wanted to take a bus to Chandigarh with her two-year-old son, said, “I was not aware of the strike and reached the bus stand at noon. There was a chaos outside and took 10 minutes to cross the road. After inquiring, I found out that the service will resume after 1pm. I thought about taking a bus from outside, but private operators were charging double.”

District president of Punbus Contractual Employees’ Union, Shamsher Singh, said, “If the central government does not accept the farmers’ plea in the next meeting, then the joint action committee of Punjab Roadways and Punbus will launch an agitation.”

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Friday, January 28, 2022