Restart public transport services: Industries

Lack of public transport has affected many like these working women in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K.

Industries that are set to resume work on Monday have criticised the government’s continued ban on public transport. In a statement, the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) said that without public transport, it would be difficult for employees to report to work. Industries have been allowed to function with 50% of their staff on Monday and the garment sector with 30%.

“Unlocking will be meaningful only if a conducive atmosphere is created for resumption of activities of industries in full swing. In this direction, the government must provide transport facilities to industrial areas. This will go a long way in helping the resumption of activities of small and medium industries,” said K.B. Arasappa, president of KASSIA.

Ashish Verma, convener of IISc. Sustainable Transportation Lab, said the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), should be allowed to operate with passengers following social distancing norms. “The lack of public transport will especially affect lower income groups. They have already been hit badly because of the pandemic, and opting for other modes of transport will burden them further. A helper who comes to our lab from the southern part of the city has to shell out close to ₹100 for a one-way commute by auto,” he said. While Prof. Verma is paying for her transport, the government has put the onus on employers.

Shivaprakash, who works in an industrial unit in Peenya, said, “Due to lockdown, workers are not getting regular salary so meeting daily expenses has been an issue. I used to travel in city buses by purchasing monthly passes. Without buses it will be difficult to commute to work.”

Many pourakarmikas have been complaining that after the lockdown they are walking miles to reach their wards for work.

When contacted, BMTC officials said they were following the government’s rules. “For the benefit of those who are doing essential services we are running 160 buses and those will be continued. Along with that another 160 chartered and contract services will be operated as per agreement reached between industrial units, BBMP, and others,” said an official.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 8:10:03 AM |

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