THE STRIKE by Haryana Roadways against the permits given by the state government to private buses under the transport policy of 2016-17 inconvenienced thousands of city-based commuters at the Chandigarh Bus Stand in Sector 17 on Tuesday.
More than 500 Haryana Roadways buses that depart from Chandigarh and Panchkula bus stands did not leave their bays on Tuesday. However, the strike was called off in the evening.
Haryana Roadways’ popular Chandigarh to IGI airport Volvo buses had sold out seats on 10 of its buses online, but had to refund the tickets due to the strike. One Volvo bus has the capacity of carrying 35 to 40 passengers. The roadways runs 34 Volvo buses.
The commuters could be seen negotiating with taxis that were charging double the usual fare. Meanwhile, the rush at Chandigarh railway station increased with a surge in the demand for tickets on trains to New Delhi.
Sandeep Singh of Khanna was waiting with a heavy baggage at the Chandigarh Bus Stand in Sector 17 to reach New Delhi airport as he had to board a flight to Canada at 1 am. He said when he reached the bus stand, he was shocked to learn of the strike.
“I am a student and am pursuing my graduation course abroad. I just reached the bus stand to purchase the tickets and am carrying heavy baggage. I did not know that there was a strike. So, I am stranded here and don’t know where to go,” he said.
Rajpal Singh, an employee of the Haryana Roadways, said, “There are 92 buses which ply from Panchkula to different parts of Haryana and 475 buses which run from Chandigarh bus stand everyday. The one-day strike of the roadways has incurred a loss of Rs 15- 20 lakh to the roadways for buses which travel from Chandigarh and Panchkula.”
The commuters were seen standing in the queue waiting for Volvo buses of other roadways. Arun Verma, who is pursuing his bachelors in commerce from Saudi Arabia, was standing at the Haryana Roadways counter in Sector 17 to ask about the status of his ticket which he had booked a few days ago. “I had booked my ticket for the bus that starts late in the evening. I have to cancel it. My father will drop me at New Delhi now as I had to board my flight to Dubai,” he added.