As the indefinite strike launched by employees of State road transport corporations continued for the second day, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has dismissed from service 3,000 trainee driver-cum-conductors for violating the service rules and participating in the strike.

Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok, who held a marathon meeting with leaders of the Joint Committee of Trade Unions of State Road Transport Undertakings on Thursday night, on Friday told presspersons that the BMTC Managing Director has issued notices sacking 3,000 trainee driver-cum-conductors from the service for participating in the strike.

To fill vacancies created by dismissal of employees, the BMTC has issued orders asking 3,000 candidates to join the duty. “The BMTC has kept pending hiring of 3,000 drivers and today orders have been issued to join the service immediately,” he said.

No Salary hike

The Minister ruled out any further hike in salaries of employees of all road transport corporations. Hike of diesel price of Rs. 6.13 per litre would cost the corporations Rs 323.49 crore a year. With the increase in diesel prices, bus fare had to be hiked by 35 per cent to increase the demand for wage hike of employees, he said.

No hike in bus fares

Mr Ashok said common people are already facing severe financial burden on account of drought in the State and fuel price hike. The Government would not increase bus fares which would further burden the general public, particularly farmers.

To avoid inconvenience caused to public, the department has requested all private bus operators to ply their buses from all major KSRTC and BMTC bus-stations in the State.

Asked about the salary hike demand, he said the corporations have been paying monthly salary of Rs 12,113 for divers in the first year of service and Rs 42,715 per month to those who have put up more than 30 years of service.

On account of strike, RTC bus services in most parts of the State, including Bangalore, continue to be affected for the second day, paralysing normal life. Schools and colleges have been declared holidays in Gulbarga district.

The Transport Minister said more than 200 buses were damaged. Three employees were injured during the strike and they have been paid compensation of Rs 25,000.

Stating that he and the officials of all RTCs are ready to hold talks with union leaders, the Minister said the government is ready to meet all demands of the employees, except salary hike.

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