DW BUREAU / chandigarh
Haryana Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar has said that the state government is taking all possible steps, including pressing more buses on different routes, to ensure that the passengers and commuters do not face any difficulty due the strike by some employees of the Haryana Roadways.
“There is no proposal to privatise Roadways services. Presently, about 500 buses of the department and 950 buses of cooperative societies are plying smoothly in the state. I am in constant touch with officers and the state government is making concerted efforts to ensure that the people do not face any inconvenience”, he added.
Reacting to the decision of the unions to go on strike, Panwar said he had held a meeting with office-bearers of workers’ unions 15 days ago where 33 out of their 34 demands were accepted, and the office-bearers had also thanked the Chief Minister, Manohar Lal, and the state government.
On the view of the unions that the state government would hire 720 buses and carry out privatization of the department, the minister clarified that privatization was not on the table.
Haryana Roadways has a fleet of 4,100 buses. The state government added 600 buses to the fleet in 2017-18 and it has been decided to add 650 buses during 2018-19. The Chief Minister has approved this proposal and now the matter would be sent to the High Power Purchase Committee. Panwar said every year about 250 to 300 buses outlived their shelf life and these were declared waste on the completion of seven years, or for having covered eight lakh kilometres. The drivers of 720 buses which are being hired would be deputed by the bus owners whereas conductors would be deputed by the department. Permit of the buses would be issued by the Transport Department and the General Manager would have entire control over them.
The bus drivers would be provided rate according to the tender of 300 kilometres, and the sale of tickets would be done by the department. Therefore, the question of privatization does not arise, he added. The Minister said the unions had approached the High Court against the LOA granted by the department. The Director General of Transport and Director General of Police were also called for the hearing. Now, the next date of hearing is August 20, 2018, and the department would abide by whatever decision the cour gives.