Jaipur, Apr 30: Lakhs of passengers across the state were stranded after buses plying under Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation went off roads in a protest by Roadways Union against the Centre's new bill on road safety and transport.
About 4,500 RSRTC buses stopped operations in the state as its 22,000 employees went on a 24-hour strike against the new bill that would make them responsible for any road accident, General Secretary of RSRTC Union Dharamveer Choudhary said. [Bandh: Transporters call for nationwide strike against strict road safety standards]
52 RSRTC depots in 8 divisions of the state did not open this morning, he said, adding, the one-day strike would cause a revenue loss of Rs 5 crore to RSRTC, and affect over 10 lakh passengers. [Transport strike hits India: What people are doing (Pics)]
Even the private bus operators joined the call for strike that started last midnight, Choudhary claimed.
"Under the provisions of the new bill, if a child is killed in a road accident by any driver, he will be punished with a fine of Rs 3 lakh and imprisonment up to seven years, the general secretary of RSRTC Union, which is affiliated to All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), said "While in case of an animal's death in a road mishap, the fine would be Rs 1 lakh and imprisonment up to four years," Choudhary said.
The new bill will also enable the state government to allow private carriages on state roads, causing financial losses to the RSRTC.
A very few employees did report to the RSRTC Office headquarters at 9:30 AM but later they also went back, an official said.
Passengers were seen moving from one stop to another in search of buses at Sindhi Camp, Sodala, Narayan Singh Circle, Jhotwara, Sikar road, Durgapura, and Sanganger.
Meanwhile, RSRTC spokesperson Sudhir Bhati said the strike would be treated as "no work, no pay".