Missed the bus on Bangalore bandh; the real reason is here

Written by: S.K. Shama Sundara
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Even as the all India strike called by the NDA threatened to cripple life bringing it to a standstill today, all BMTC (Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport corporation) bus drivers and conductors reported to duty and were ready to work. But if you are wondering why you did not see any BMTC bus on the road this morning, here it goes..

These honest workers are people who come from what we like to call the common man. They understand the need and necessity of public transport to the common man and had reported to work as usual. However, the government has announced that BMTC services will be curbed due to the bandh but the way in which BMTC drivers and conductors were walking in to their respective depots appeared as if it was just another regular day at work for them.

BMTC lifeline of Bangalore city

All depots saw full attendance despite the bundh call by the NDA. So if you were wondering why you did not see any BMTC bus in Bangalore today, the answer lies here. One India's Kannada Editor Sham Sundar had a hearty conversation with some of these drivers and conductors at Bangalore's Yeshwanthpur depot.

BMTC personnel did not want to place their buses within the range of miscreants who could throw stones or light fire and cause irreparable damage. Rudrayya, a driver said: “ We love our buses as much as any body loves their cars or two wheelers. Our hearts are singed whenever we see a burning bus. All you need to burn a bus is a match stick but the damage caused is worth Rs 40 lakh. The bus is not just government property, its ours too.”

Nagaraju, a BMTC conductor also echoed Rudrayya's statement. He said, “We are very much concerned about the plight of passengers waiting for the bus. And that is the reason why we have come to work despite the bandh. We are ready to take the buses out but we do not want to take the risk of our buses getting damaged. We are waiting for the situation to get better so that we can get to work and help passengers as soon as possible.”

Regular BMTC passengers are the ones who suffer the most on instances such as today. We are the first ones to complain about bad quality buses whenever buses break down or are not on time. But people must also understand the plight of these BMTC workers who are the ones who face the flak from authorities whenever their buses come under attack by miscreants.

And finally, these are the people who dispense work at the lowest levels of hierarchy but are on top when it matters most when serving people of Karnataka. And again, these are kinds of employees of Karnataka government who bring pride and hope to the State battered by corrupt politicians and their obedient bureaucrats.

But for the prompt and honest services of employees the BMTC wouldn't have bagged the title 'Most efficient and Profit Making Public Transport System' in the country. Karnataka was rewarded with this recognition three times in a row from the Center.

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