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Haryana Roadways strike: Situation improving with 3,500 buses plying, claims govt

Even as Esma is in force, roadways employees are on strike since October 16 in protest against the government’s move to induct 700 private buses, which they allege is a step towards privatisation.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2018 11:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Haryana Roadways strike,Haryana
Haryana Roadways workers staging a protest to press for their demands in Rohtak on Saturday.(HT Photo)

Even as the ongoing strike by Haryana Roadways employees entered the 12th day, the state government claimed that movement of buses is improving with every passing day.

On Saturday, more than 3,500 buses plied across state, including around 2,405 buses of roadways, 1,059 of cooperative societies and 120 private buses. Around 4,100 roadways buses run state roads on a normal day.

Stating that the Haryana government on Saturday suspended as many as 138 striking employees, mainly drivers and conductors, under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (Esma), additional chief secretary (transport) Dhanpat Singh said it had already terminated 200 striking employees who had been hired through outsourced agencies and 47 others who were still on probation and yet went on strike.

Even as Esma is in force, roadways employees are on strike since October 16 in protest against the government’s move to induct 700 private buses, which they allege is a step towards privatisation of the department and would benefit a chosen few.

On the other hand, the government refutes the allegations saying the move is in favour of employees, people and the government.

The employees have, however, extended their strike till October 29.

Even as the government held talks with the roadways employees leaders twice in the past few days, the negotiations failed with both – leaders and government – sticking to their respective stands.

As the government began action against striking employees who have extended their strike till October 29, the umbrella body of over 42 unions - Haryana Sarvkarmchari Sangh - backed their stir and even went on mass causal leave on Friday. Sangh general secretary Subhash Lamba said they would hold a meeting on Sunday to decide their next course of action.

16 striking drivers fired

Thousands of commuters continue to suffer due to indefinite strike of Haryana Roadways employees.

However, the Haryana government has terminated the services of 16 striking drivers, who were on probation period.

With weekend in sight, the government on Saturday once again roped in buses of private schools to compensate for the roadways buses that were not plying due to roadways employees’ strike. The authorities said school managements wee requested to allot their buses as they would be free during fourth Saturday and Sunday.

At many places, police officials were asked to drive the Haryana Roadways buses, even though a large number of commuters could be seen struggling to get buses or get into them.

Commuters suffered the most during the past 12 days in Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa. Prakash Singh, a banker, said the passengers faced several problems ranging from delay in reaching their respective workplaces to travelling in crowded buses or rashly driven vehicles.

First Published: Oct 28, 2018 11:02 IST