Commuters were in for major inconvenience and harassment,as 320 local buses of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) remained off road for four hours in the city due to the strike by CTU workers on Friday.
The strike,which went on from 10 am to 2 pm,spelt an endless wait for harassed commuters at ISBT-43 and ISBT-17. I have been waiting here for the past one hour and will have to wait for another hour for the buses to start plying. I am a CTU bus pass holder and always travel in buses. After finishing my exam,I had to come walking from my school to Sector 17. I will be waiting for two hours to reach home which is near the railway station, said Pooja Puri,a student of Government Model Senior Secondary School,Sector 8.
As the CTU workers unions staged a protest at ISBT-17,many people were left at the mercy of auto drivers. I had to go to the Sector 43 bus stand to get a bus to Shimla,but as I could not travel in the A/C CTU bus,I had to take an auto rickshaw all the way to the bus stand. No amount of bargaining could bring down the fare as the auto driver had realised that due to the strike,I had no other option, complained Isha Rawal,a college goer.
To pacify the agitated CTU workers,who are demanding new buses and disposal of old buses,a meeting was held with them by the CTU authorities in the presence of transport secretary Bhavana Garg. We had given a notice about todays strike more than 15 days back. Had the authorities called the meeting even yesterday,the strike could have been called off, said Bhupinder Singh,president of the CTU Workers Union. As the meeting ended after 12.30,where it was decided that the strike would be called off,it was too late for us to spread the message to our other workers.
We have assured the workers that within 15 days,we would come up with concrete steps. The problem of getting new buses and more staff would be resolved soon, said S P Parmar,general manager,CTU.
While there will be no strike on Saturday,the CTU workers will start their hunger strike from Monday.