Updated: September 10, 2021 7:58:58 pm
At least 2,500 buses of state-owned Punjab Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) and PUNBUS (Punjab Roadways) stayed off road Friday for the fifth consecutive day across the state, as contractual employees continued their indefinite strike demanding regularisation.
On Friday, a protest was held outside Mohali’s Siswan residence of Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh.
For the five days now, commuters in Punjab have been facing a harrowing time as government buses are off road and only private bus service is on. No PRTC or Punjab Roadways bus is plying from any bus stand across the state, said Shamsher Singh, Ludhiana depot president, Punjab Roadways/PUNBUS/PRTC Contract Workers Union.
Shamsher Singh said that there were around 8,000 contractual employees working in these bodies including drivers, conductors, workshop employees, clerical and booking staff. “We demand their immediate regularisation,” he said.
He added that the other demand of the union includes purchase of at least 10,000 new buses for the convenience and safety of the commuters as the current 2,500 buses were outdated and in a rickety state.
“For convenience of commuters, we demand the purchase of 10,000 new buses from the state government’s funds. The current 2,500 buses are in such a pathetic state that it is not safe to use them anymore,” he said.
He added that a protest by contractual employees was ongoing Friday outside CM’s residence/farmhouse in Siswan of Mohali.
“All 27 depots are closed across the state and no PRTC/PUNBUS will ply from any bus stand across Punjab. Only private buses are running,” he said.
“The protest will go on indefinitely till demands aren’t met,” he said.
Later in the evening, the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Kharar, in a written assurance to the protesters, promised a meeting at CM office in Civil Secretariat, Chandigarh, on September 14.