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Roadways staff strike today, HC tells Haryana to take action against protesters

The court has also issued show-cause notice to 20 employees’ union leaders as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2018 11:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Haryana government,Haryana roadways strike,Haryana roadways bus
At several depots, including Gurugram, Karnal and Sirsa, roadways workers held protest demonstrations against the government.(HT File )

A Punjab and Haryana high court bench of justice RK Jain on Tuesday asked the Haryana government to take action against roadways employees, who will on Wednesday go on a day-long strike to protest the government’s move to allow private buses to ply within and from the state.

The court has also issued show-cause notice to 20 employees’ union leaders as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them. The government has been asked to videograph the strike so that further action regarding the recovery of damage to public property can be taken. The court has directed the government to ensure that all employees mark their attendance. A written order regarding this, however, is awaited.

The direction was passed during the resumed hearing of a petition pending since 2017. It was filed by The Hissar Vijeta Cooperative Transport Authority and Others, seeking direction to roadways employees not to stop the operations.

The court has fixed the next date of hearing in October.

The Haryana government had on August 30 invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) for six months barring the employees to go on the proposed strike.

However, Haryana Roadways Sarvkarmchari Sangh said, “Till the very end, we were open for talks with the state government to reach a solution so that public is not put to inconvenience due to the strike. The government remained defiant and even invoked the ESMA, leaving us with no option but to go ahead with the strike on Wednesday as per our earlier announcement.”

He said they were ready to make any sacrifice to save the department from going into hands of private operators at any cost.

However, additional chief secretary (ACS), transport department, Dhanpat Singh, said the government will effectively implement the ESMA.

Refuting the allegations leveled by union leaders, the ACS said it was neither favouritism nor any bid to privatise the services as the entire process to rope in private buses had been done in a transparent manner.

Meanwhile, health minister Anil Vij asked the employees to return to work or face action, including termination of services.

Transport minister Krishan Lal Panwar termed as “unjustified” the move of the roadways employees to go on strike.

Opposition INLD slammed the government’s move to invoke the ESMA, saying such a measure was not needed in the present situation.

(with agency inputs)

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 11:50 IST