T.N. bus strike | Transport services not hit in Chennai, buses continue to operate in most districts

The Transport Department has stated that the eight transport corporations in T.N. operated 8,787 buses against the normal 9,452 buses, as of January 9 morning

Updated - January 09, 2024 06:21 pm IST

Published - January 09, 2024 09:01 am IST - Chennai

Students taking their routine bus at Dunlop bus stop, Ambattur, in Chennai on Tuesday, January 9,  2024.

Students taking their routine bus at Dunlop bus stop, Ambattur, in Chennai on Tuesday, January 9, 2024. | Photo Credit: M. Vedhan

The transport strike called by various transport employees unions demanding the 15th wage revision has not affected the operation of buses including Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses in Chennai, on Tuesday, January 9, 2024.

In Chennai, where MTC is the sole bus operator, a total of 2,098 buses were operated against the normal operation of 2,025 buses. 

A senior official of the MTC said Managing Director Alby John has been going to various bus depots to inspect the operation of the buses so that commuters, particularly office-goers would not be affected due to the strike. The MTC has also issued a circular cancelling all the leave of its staff, and asking the bus crew to be present without taking their regular offs. 

The Transport Department stated that the eight transport corporations across the State, operated 8,787 buses against the normal bus operation of 9,452 buses as of Tuesday, January 9, 2024 morning. 

A view of the poster announcing strike by transport employees union at Pallavan Salai in Chennai.

A view of the poster announcing strike by transport employees union at Pallavan Salai in Chennai. | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Demands of striking employees

The demands of the transport unions include filling up of vacancies, allocation in the State Budget to offset the deficit, increasing the dearness allowance of retired employees pending for the last 100 months, scrapping of a new pension scheme, immediate commencement of the 15th wage revision talks, and granting compassionate ground appointments. 

Dharna in Coimbatore

Members of the Anna Thozhialar Sangam and a few other trade unions on Tuesday, staged a dharna in front of the T.N. State Transport Corporation Depot in Sungam in Coimbatore. However, buses had already left the depot to the assigned bus stands.

While there were no signs of passengers facing any major trouble to reach their destinations at the city bus stand, the scenario was slightly different at the mofussil bus stands where the usual bustle was visibly missing.

In Tiruppur district, a little over 90 per cent of the 581 planned bus services were operated through the eight branches.

Over 80% of buses operated in Villupuram, Kallakurichi

Bus services in Villupuram and Kallakurichi districts, including inter-state operations remained largely unaffected, amid the strike call given by various transport unions in support of their charter of demands.

Inter-state operations by TNSTC remained largely unaffected amid the strike call given by various transport unions. TNSTC buses plied as usual at the Rajiv Gandhi bus stand in Puducherry on Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Inter-state operations by TNSTC remained largely unaffected amid the strike call given by various transport unions. TNSTC buses plied as usual at the Rajiv Gandhi bus stand in Puducherry on Tuesday, January 9, 2024 | Photo Credit: KUMAR SS

According to TNSTC officials, about 88.48 % of buses were operated by the Villupuram Division of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) on Tuesday. As many as 238 schedules were operated as against 269 in Villupuram district comprising, Villupuram, Tindivanam and Gingee from 12 a.m. to 8 a.m.

The situation began to improve as the day progressed. The operation of buses went up to 91 % in Villupuram district by 10 a.m. The strike was confined to only a few transport unions and there was no major disruption of services, a TNSTC official said.

The Villupuram Division also operated around 84 percent of buses in Kallakurichi district comprising Tirukovilur, Ulundurpet, Kallakurichi, Sankarapuram and Chinnasalem. As many as 165 schedules out of the total of 196 were operated in Kallakurichi district.

While TNSTC officials said more than 70% of the buses were operated in Cuddalore, the opposition trade unions claimed that only 30% of buses had plied, that too during peak hours as a large number of drivers and conductors refused to operate the vehicles.

A majority of drivers and conductors owing allegiance to six trade unions have joined the strike and very few buses moved out of the bus depots in Cuddalore district, a member of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) said.

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