Haryana suspends 120 employees; roadways strike continues
Haryana`s Transport Department suspended 120 employees of the state roadways on Wednesday as the strike by the roadways staff continued for the third day, paralysing public transport in the state.
Chandigarh: Haryana`s Transport Department suspended 120 employees of the state roadways on Wednesday as the strike by the roadways staff continued for the third day, paralysing public transport in the state.
Over 4,000 buses of the Haryana Roadways remained off the roads for the third day, with common people bearing the brunt of the strike.
Harassed people said that they were inconvenienced and could not reach other places for work and jobs owing to the strike.
"This (strike) happens everytime. The government and the employees know that they will eventually sit down and talk and resolve the issues. But no one is bothered that commuters are being harassed," said Sheela Kumari, a resident of Ambala.
Those suspended included leaders of various roadways employees` unions.
Haryana Roadways buses did not ply from the 24 bus depots across the state on Wednesday.
Haryana Roadways Workers Union President Sarbat Singh Punia said that the striking employees could not be cowed down by intimidatory tactics like suspension.
Meanwhile, state Director General of Police (DGP) K.P. Singh said that in view of the strike by the state roadways employees, officers in all districts have been directed to maintain law and order and ensure that no person causes any harm to public property.
Singh said nobody should be allowed to stop any private bus from operating. "Additional police personnel have been deputed in such sensitive areas as Jind and Rohtak, and SPs in other districts have been directed to depute home guards, if required," he said.
As thousands of commuters suffered inconvenience for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, talks between roadways employees` leaders and the state government failed to break the logjam.
The striking employees are demanding a rollback on a recent Transport Department policy under which private bus owners were allowed more permits to operate services across Haryana.
Their leaders threatened to continue with the strike till their demand was accepted unconditionally.
Over 13 lakh people travel daily in nearly 4,200 Haryana Roadways buses, including luxury Volvo buses, on intra- and inter-state routes.
Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar said the interests of roadways employees as well as the people of the state are of paramount importance for the state government, which is always ready to hold talks with employee unions.
He said 853 private buses are presently operating on 273 routes and all operators have got their permits made afresh.