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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

Commuters face hardships as city buses go off road

cities Updated: Dec 04, 2019 21:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustantimes
         

WEDNESDAY NIGHTMARE Contractual drivers go on strike demanding increase in wages

LUCKNOW Commuters in the state capital had a tough time reaching their destinations on Wednesday as city buses (including electric buses) went off the road due to a strike called by the contractual staff.

The contractual drivers and conductors were demanding increase in wages.

The Lucknow City Transport Services Limited (LCTSL) runs about 100 CNG and 40 electric buses within the city limits and nearly 30,000 passengers use these vehicles every day.

“Bus drivers’ strike came as a surprise when I stepped out of my house to reach Lucknow University. I reached the campus an hour later than usual as three-wheelers were running packed,” said a student.

City buses run in two shifts, from 6 am to 2 pm and from 2 pm to 10 pm on 33 routes that have over 150 stoppages. With these vehicles going off road, three-wheelers had to cater to the passenger rush.

“As buses were not plying, commuters opted for three-wheelers, due to which these vehicles were overloaded,” said Rakesh Sharma, who travels from his Patrakarpuram house to his office near Mithaiwala crossing.

Meanwhile, officials said they were in talks with the agitating staff to call off the strike. “We are trying that the staff resumes work at the earliest,” said a senior official in the LCTSL.

There was some relief for commuters on the Munshipulia-airport- Hazratganj-Transport Nagar stretch as Metro rail services were on. Elsewhere, people faced hardships as no buses plied from the Gomti Nagar or Dubagga bus depots.

“I had to wait for over half an hour as all the three-wheelers came loaded with passengers,” said Rashmi, who had to travel from Aliganj to Gomti Nagar.

Passengers were seen waiting for public transport on various routes such as Polytechnic-Gomti Nagar and Civil Hospital-Cantonment.

DEMANDS

*The staff working under the LCTSL demanded increase in per kilometre wages. They said they were getting the same wages since 2015 (₹2.05 per kilometre for the bus they drive).

“As per the current (per kilometer) wages, a staff earns about ₹7,500 per month, which includes incentive for running a minimum 2,500 kms in a month,” said DK Srivastava, an agitating staff.

The staff is agitating under the banner of Central Regional Workshop Workers’ Union. They want that they be given minimum 22 days of duty with biometric attendance facility and fixed minimum wages (or the per kilometre wages be increased).

They also demanded that corruption in the name of maintenance of vehicles be checked.