On Wednesday, after remaining off the road since April 7, buses started pulling into major bus stands across the city in large numbers after employees of the road transport corporations (RTCs) called off their indefinite strike.
As the Statewide strike, one of the longest in recent history, entered the 15th day, honorary president of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation Employees League Kodihalli Chandrashekar announced that they were postponing the stir in the wake of the High Court of Karnataka’s observations.
On Tuesday, the High Court said that strike by employees of the four public transport corporations amid the COVID-19 pandemic violated the fundamental rights of other citizens.
While expressing disappointment with the government’s response to the strike, Mr. Chandrashekar said, “The 15-day-long indefinite strike was one of longest observed in transport corporations. Unexpectedly, the Karnataka High Court intervened noting that in the interests of the general public employees should immediately report back to duty. We respect what the court has said. The strike has been postponed temporarily.”
On Wednesday, even before the strike was formally called off, all the four RTCs were able to run more than 12,500 buses across Karnataka, indicating that employees were not waiting for a formal announcement.
Deputy Chief Minister and Transport Minister Laxman Savadi thanked employees who reported back to duty on Wednesday. “From Thursday, the RTCs will be able to ply buses as per the schedule,” he said in a press release.
Buses will be operated as per the new COVID-19 guidelines issued by the State government. During night and weekend curfew, buses will be operated as per demand.
Validity of monthly pass extended
In the interest of over 3 lakh monthly bus pass holders, the Bangalore Metropolitain Transport Corporation has decided to extend the validity of the passes. Passengers who had purchased the passes for April will be able to use them till May 16, 2021. The BMTC stated that the extension of the validity would come into force immediately.