Chandigarh, May 5 (UNI) The Haryana Roadways employees strike today affected the services of the Transport Department in the state only partially, an official spokesman said.
Six depots namely Chandigarh, Ambala, Sonepat, Jind, Rewari and Narnaul had normal operations whereas Panipat, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jhajjar, Yamunanagar and Gurgaon depots were partially affected.
A spokesman of the Haryana Transport Department said that the strike by the operating staff was against the interest of the daily commuters, common man and even the employees themselves.
He said that due to this strike, a number of people had been left stranded in remote villages and towns. Patient and students had faced hardships on account of ''indifferent attitude'' of the striking employees.
The State exchequer had suffered a loss of Rs 1.5 crore since the beginning of the strike.
The spokesman said that even the of West Bengal government had started Volvo buses under franchise scheme. He said that in West Bengal, the drivers and conductors both were of private operators and cent per cent fare collected from the passengers were also retained by them. These operators were paying only 10 per cent of the passenger receipt as franchisee money to the Calcutta State Transport Corporation.
Whereas in Haryana, the conductors were of the State Roadways and the passenger receipt was also retained by the Roadways. He questioned why the very same unions which were protesting against running of the Volvo buses in Haryana, were silent about their services in West Bengal.
The spokesman further said that Haryana was not the first State to introduce the scheme of taking Volvo buses on lease. Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi had been running buses under the above scheme for many years. Under this arrangement, the operation of the bus and revenue earned from it remained with the State Roadways and the private operators were only paid the lease charges.
Clarifying the position regarding introduction of Volvo bus service by Haryana Roadways, the spokesman said that in recent years, the economic scene had changed in India. The people were demanding better services. It was with this background that Volvo services were started in the state in October, 2005.
He said that a revenue of Rs 86 lakh including tax had been earned through these buses by the State exchequer between October, 2005 and April 30, 2006.
He said that over 50,000 passengers had travelled by this service on Chandigarh-Delhi route. The effort was to extend the services to the interior parts of the state, including the district of Kurkshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Rohtak and Jhajjar.
While the unions had no objection to the running of service on the GT road, it was not understood why they were objecting to the extension of this service to the interiors parts of the state. He said that the reason of double standards adopted by the unions was not clear.
The Volvo bus service on the Chandigarh-Hisar route had been popular from the very first day. In the first three days operations, 100 passengers availed the services of this bus.
He said that the profit being earned by the Haryana Roadways from Volvo buses was being invested for further improving the services.
UNI VKJ YA RS2206