MTC staff protest leaves commuters stranded

Minister promises to convene meeting after bypolls

December 16, 2017 01:07 am | Updated 01:08 am IST - CHENNAI

Tension prevailed at Pallavan Salai after a miscreant broke the windshield of a MTC bus on Friday.

Tension prevailed at Pallavan Salai after a miscreant broke the windshield of a MTC bus on Friday.

Thousands of commuters in the city faced severe hardship on Friday as a large number of MTC bus services were suspended after drivers and conductors associated with different transport unions of opposition parties participated in a sit-in on Pallavan Salai.

The two-day protest was organised by Federation of Transport Trade Unions seeking immediate wage revision, settlement of pension dues and proper allotment of subsidy to the tune of ₹7,000 crore yearly to tide over the financial deficit faced by the transport corporations.

Though MTC officials claimed buses were operated normally, crowded bus stops were a common sight.

S. Paranjothi, a resident of Vallalar Nagar near Mint, said operation of buses on several routes, including 32B, 28C, and 11G, was reduced.

Anbhazagan, an office bearer of CITU, said Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabaskar at an interaction with a group of members of the protesting unions promised to convene a meeting after the R.K. Nagar Assembly election.

While senior officials of MTC claim that 80% of the MTC fleet of 3,800 buses were on the roads, trade union members said only 50 % to 60% of the buses were operated.

In the evening, tension prevailed on Pallavan Salai at the end of the protest when a miscreant broke the windshield of an MTC bus no.32B by throwing stones. Police personnel subsequently blocked Pallavan Salai.

T. Nandakumar, a resident of Thiruvallur working in an office on Anna Salai, said he was forced to walk all the way to the Moore Market suburban railway station, as all the buses were diverted through Munroe Statue of Anna Salai.

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