KSRTC, BMTC strike begins today; schools, colleges shut


Normal life is set to be disrupted in Bengaluru and rest of the state with 1.23 lakh workers of four public transport utilities sector launching an indefinite strike from Sunday midnight for a wage hike.

Transport services were partially curtailed in several parts of the city on Sunday itself, indicating the strike by BMTC, KSRTC, NEKRTC and NWKRTC is likely to be total. Around 23,000 KSRTC, BMTC and regional RTC buses will be off the roads.

The chief minister announced a holiday for schools and colleges across the state on Monday and Tuesday , but left the final decision to the deputy commissioners. While schools in Bengaluru Urban district will be closed for two days, in Bengaluru Rural district they will remain closed on Monday . Dakshina Kannada and Udupi administration has decided not to impose holidays for schools and colleges in their districts since 90% of the commuters depend on private buses.
Transport authorities, meanwhile, stepped in with alternatives. Minister Ramalinga Reddy said they have roped in 30,000 private buses and 80,000 maxi-cabs for commuting in the city . We have the provision of imposing Esma (Essential Services Maintenance Act), but refrained because we want to settle the issue amicably,” Ramalinga Reddy added.
Autorickshaws and cabs are expected to operate as usual. The Metro authorities have decided to increase frequency , depending on passenger demand.BMRC’s chief public relations officer UA Vasanth Rao said the Metro will run every five minutes from the current six during peak hours, if if there is a huge rush.

Transport commissioner Rame Gowda said, “We’ve asked Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and other states to deploy as many buses as possible.” The department has asked enforcement officers to allow private buses and maxi-cabs to pick up passengers from designated bus stops and also along the way, and and function like BMTC.

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