Wrangle over criteria for operating buses in routes of their choice

KSRTC employees of 44 low-floor Volvo buses went on strike on Saturday, torturing a few hundred people who regularly travelled to work on these buses.

Only 6 of the 50 air-conditioned services that operated in the city and suburban municipal towns plied on Saturday.

The agitation was in protest against KSRTC decision permitting drivers trained at the bus manufacturer’s Bangalore unit to operate services in routes of their choice, said T.P. Venu of KSRTC Employees’ Association (CITU). “Generally, this is done on the basis of seniority in the PSC rank list.”

District Transport Officer Suresh Kumar S. said: “A decision to resume operations from Sunday has been taken following talks with trade union leaders.” Mr. Kumar said the new schedule against which bus crew went on strike would be applicable to all KSRTC services except low-floor buses purchased under JNNURM scheme. “Thus, JNNURM crew will operate under norms of the old schedule.”

KSRTC’s Chief Traffic Officer and special officer for JNNURM buses Sharaf Mohammed said seniority would be given priority for operating the agency’s low-floor services.

‘Chain’s services

On inadequate passenger patronage for buses because of unscientific scheduling that leads to ‘bunching’ of services, Mr. Kumar said inspectors had been instructed to detain such buses at depots and major bus stops for a few minutes so that buses operated according to the prescribed time gap. “Steps are also being taken to ensure coordination among depots so that timings of services do not clash with that of others. The results will be evident within a week,” he said.

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