The stand-off between protesting Haryana transport employees and government has intensified with the government taking disciplinary action against drivers and conductors of buses who participated in the strike. The agitators responded by extending the strike for two more days, Thursday and Friday. Today was the second day of the strike, which started on Tuesday.
Agitators are opposing induction of 720 private buses in the state run Haryana Roadways fleet under a scheme of hiring of buses on kilometre basis as they alleged that its “aimed at privatising the transport services,” an allegation dismissed by the govt as baseless.
Employees eaders Wednesday met in Kaithal and announced to continue the strike alleging the government was “suppressing their voice with dictatorship in place of resolving the issue with dialogue”.
“As many as 252 employees, who were recruited in 2016, have been terminated. But, we will continue our struggle and if needed, would extend the strike further,” said Dalbir Singh Kirmara, a leader of roadways employees.
Another senior leader Sarbat Singh Punia said that the decision to extend the strike was taken unanimously. According to agitators, the staffers of Haryana Roadways’ Volvo buses are also taking part in the strike, which has paralysed transport services.
Taking a strict view of the strike by Haryana Roadways employees which has causing inconvenience to the public, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has directed to suspend employees and officers who are participating in the strike.
The decision has also been taken to suspend the drivers, who are on probation period and participated in this strike, without any showcause notice. “Similarly, 252 drivers who are on contract under Outsourcing Policy – II and joined the strike, they would also be removed from services from today.”
The Chief Minister also took action against the officers and ordered suspension of General Manager of Palwal and Works Manager of Bahadurgarh for not “handling the strike properly.” He also ordered enquiry against the officers who indirectly participated in this strike. Besides this, a decision has also been taken to suspend the newly appointed clerks, who are on probation period and participated in this strike.
During a review meeting Wednesday, it was decided that an advertisement would be released to invite applications to appoint 930 conductors
and 500 drivers under outsourcing policy.
The review meeting was held under the Chairmanship of the CM in which the Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Rajesh Khullar, Additional Chief Secretary (transport) Dhanpat Singh were also present.