States & UTs

    Transport strike hits B'luru, companies' association raises concern over 'hooliganism' on streets

    Sunil Aswal
    September11/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    Transport strike

    Bengaluru: Transport strike on Monday affected commuters across Karnataka, especially in the country's Silicon Valley Bengaluru. 

    The Outer Ring Road Companies Association (ORRCA), an association for all companies located between Bengaluru's Central Silk Board Junction and Krishnarajapuram in Outer Ring Road and Arterial Roads, has expressed concerns over "unruly behaviour" of protesters on the streets in broad daylight.

    The protesters allegedly pelted stones, eggs at several vehicles and cabs for "defying the strike call" made by the Federation of Karnataka State Private Transport Association. The videos of protesters slapping, manhandling and abusing drivers for defying strike have also surfaced online.

    The ORRCA, sharing purported videos of some protesters engaged in hooliganism, wrote on its social media handle: "FIRs should be filed and these culprits damaging property should be arrested and some action is required else such behaviours will go unabated and will continue."

    Majority of IT companies had declared work from home on Monday as the bandh call was given in advance. Though the work and commute did not affect the IT companies, the core team which had to reach office were ferried early in the morning and the employees had to use their own vehicles. Many techies reached offices in public transport especially Metro.

    Federation of Karnataka State Private Transport Association had called for a bandh against the implementation of free travel for women scheme under which women are allowed to travel free in state-owned buses across the state.

    As many as 37 private transport associations including auto rickshaw drivers, taxi, maxi cab and private bus operators extended their support to the bandh call.

    State Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said that the bandh was observed by 37 organisations. "The free travel for women scheme and hike in taxes are done during Congress government rule while the remaining decisions were taken during previous governments. I have been assured that most of their demands would be fulfilled. A development corporation for drivers would be established," Reddy said.

    However, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah refused to declined to fulfill the major demand of the protesting transporters. Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Siddaramaiah said: "The private transporters are making unrealistic demands."

    Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar dubbed the bandh call an attempt to "blackmail the government and play politics".

    "It is not a good to blackmail the government and put passengers into inconvenience. Women are benefited by the free travel Shakti scheme," Shivakumar added.

    Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Shivakumar said that the owners of private buses are in crisis in the backdrop of implementation of the free travel scheme. "We will take action in this regard. Even if auto drivers are in trouble, we will look into it as we are aware of the situation," he asserted.