Mixed response to Haryana Roadways staff strike

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Chandigarh, Sep 5 (IANS) A mixed response was witnessed on Wednesday to a strike call given by the Haryana Roadways staff even after scores of their union leaders were detained and authorities managed to ply state-run buses on several routes.

Minor clashes were reported between striking employees and police, which used mild force at a few places to control the protesters.

Bus services were, however, affected for some time at a few bus stands and depots in Haryana. Inter-city public transport system was badly affected due to the strike and passengers were forced to shell out higher fares for rides on private buses and taxis.

In view of the strikes earlier on, the Haryana government had banned strikes by staff of the transport department or Haryana Roadways for six months under the Haryana Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1974.

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Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar last month said that he met the union leaders in July, wherein 33 of their 34 demands were accepted.

Even as the striking roadways staff said they are opposed to the proposed privatisation of public transport services, the Minister had denied any such move.

As per the transport department, Haryana Roadways has been able to cater to only 12.5 lakh of the about 33 lakh daily commuters.

“There is need to run about 15,000 buses every day, but the state is unable to purchase such a large number of buses at one go,” the Minister had pointed out.

–IANS

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