Tiruchirapalli

Bus strike near total in Tiruchi

The Central Bus Stand wearing an almost deserted look on Friday.

The Central Bus Stand wearing an almost deserted look on Friday.   | Photo Credit: A. MURALITHARAN

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Police team deployed at all depots to prevent untoward incidents

A majority of buses of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation were off the roads in Tiruchi and other districts in the central region on Friday as employees affiliated to different trade unions went on a strike following failure of wage talks on Thursday.

Thousands of commuters and travellers faced hardship as the strike almost crippled services.

Movement of passengers were restricted to a very large extent as many transport corporation buses did not move out of the respective depots across the central region with only handful of them being operated.

As an immediate measure to tide over the crisis, the transport corporation authorities operated some buses engaging private drivers and openly called for private drivers with valid licence to be hired as temporary hands to ply the vehicles.

Although a section of employees resorted to flash strike on Thursday night, the full impact was felt on Friday when employees abstained from work.

As a precautionary measure, teams of police personnel were deployed in all the 46 depots across the central region encompassing eight districts to prevent any untoward incidents.

Trade union circles here said the strike was almost total in Tiruchi and other districts in the central region with large section busmen heeding the strike call.

Barring Karur district where government buses were operated in good numbers, the percentage of operation of State Transport Corporation buses were ranged from 20 to 30% in the remaining districts, according to police sources.

With government buses off the roads, private buses made hay as passengers had little option but to use them to reach their respective destination.

The Central and Chathram bus stands in Tiruchi from where moffusil and town buses were filled with private buses occupying all the bays.

No government buses were seen in the bus stands.

Passenger movement was sparse at the bus stands where a board was installed by the transport corporation authorities calling for private drivers with valid licence to approach the depots to operate government buses.

“The strike evoked huge response from the employees as 99% of the government buses did not operate on Friday,” claimed S. Sivanandham, State deputy general secretary, Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Employees Federation affiliated to the CITU.

Only a handful of buses were operated by corporation drivers affiliated to the ruling party union, he further said.

“The strike was almost total in Tiruchi region. Private drivers do not know the route and not many of them are experienced like government drivers, said N. Mani, state deputy general secretary, Tamil Nadu Transport Workers Federation affiliated to AITUC.

However, a senior State Transport Corporation official here said nearly 45 % of government buses were operated in Tiruchi region encompassing Tiruchi, Perambalur and Ariyalur.

Many buses were operated engaging private drivers, he acknowledged.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 12:51:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/bus-strike-near-total-in-tiruchi/article22381661.ece

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