Hisar, Dec 27 (UNI) It was an unusual scene in the bus stands of the town today when the Haryana Roadways employees were seen begging for alms.
The employees had resorted to this unique style of protest to underscore the apathy of authority concerned over the scarcity of tyres for the state roadways buses.
Hisar Roadways depot president Dalbir Kirmara, who led the protest said, ''We are collecting money to give to the Haryana Roadways department to purchase tyres for the buses standing idle in the workshops for want of tyres.'' ''The tyres purchased by the department are substandard and did not cover the prescribed mileage and consequently the buses are lining up in the workshops for want of new tyres but there are no tyres in the stores.'' ''Inspite of our requests to the department no heed has been paid to the problem. Hence we decided to beg money from the people to provide tyres to the department for running the standing buses and meet the demand of the commuters,'' Mr Kirmara said.
He said there are 3,160 buses with the state roadways out of which about 800 are lying idle at the workshops for want of tyres or the staff to run them.
''Due to dearth of buses, the passengers travel on roofs of the buses and roadways staff bears the wrath of the people,'' he added.
Sarbat Singh Punia, another employees' leader said the Haryana Roadways was declared best in the country consecutively for three years from 1993 to 1995 for earning maximum record profit, providing best service and saving fuel with optimum results.
However, the graft rampant in the department is now responsible for this ugly situtaion, he alleged.
The employees union urged the Haryana Chief Minister to intervene and order an enquiry to find out the defaulters and punish them and to take steps to bring the 'stagnant' buses on the roads.
The employees also resented the gradual privatisation of the roadways and demanded total ban on illegal transport carrying passengers in the state.