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Transport strike hits normal life in many states

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Normal life was disturbed in several parts of the country as employees of state transport corporations and some private operators went on a 24-hour strike against the proposed Motor Bill, ignoring the Center's appeal to call it off.

Kerala, Haryana, Assam and Karantaka were severely hit as buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws went off roads.

Normal life was partially hit in West Bengal due to a 12-hour general strike called by opposition parties to protest against alleged violence and malpractices in the just-held civic polls.

In Delhi, strike had a partial impact on normal life. Commuters faced problems in getting transport at railway stations and airports. Supporting the strike, around 25 per cent of Delhi Transport Corporation buses did not operate.

In Kerala, commuters in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram had a tough time reaching their destinations. University examinations in the state were postponed.

Incidents of stone pelting were, however, were reported from different parts Karnataka, including Bengaluru, Hubballi, Bellary, Raichur and Mysuru.

Bengaluru City Police Chief M N Reddi said elaborate security arrangements were made in the city in view of the transport strike and had warned of strict action against stone pelting and any form of forceful imposition of strike, as also over charging.

Lakhs of passengers across Rajasthan were seen stranded as State Road Transport Corporation buses went off roads.

Most of RSRTC buses did not operate as a large number of employees went on a 24-hour strike. 52 RSRTC depots in 8 divisions of the state did not open, causing a revenue loss of Rs 5 crore to RSRTC and affecting lakhs of passengers.

The strike call was given by trade unions against the Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2015, which they said imposes hefty penalty on driving related offences besides encroaching upon the financial and administrative rights of state bodies.

They did not pay heed to Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari's assurances that the Bill will not infringe upon the rights of state transport authorities and all their concerns will be addressed with wider consultations.

The employees are also protesting against provisions in the Bill which include obtaining fitness certificates even for light motor vehicles regularly besides the clauses that allow private carriages on state roads, causing financial losses to state corporations.

All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) termed the strike a "success" in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Himachal, Kerala, Bengal Karnataka, Gujarat and Uttarakhand.

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First Published: Thu, April 30 2015. 21:57 IST