To minimize the inconvenience caused to the public in the wake of the indefinite strike call given by the four State-run transport corporations, the Transport department has decided to issue temporary permits to taxi cabs and private buses permitting them to ferry passengers in Bengaluru from Sunday midnight.
Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy told Deccan Herald on Sunday that officials of the Transport department held talks with maxi cab associations and owners of private buses on issuing temporary permits. Explaining the alternative measures taken by the government, Reddy said the department will use 13,000 private buses from the old Mysore region as they already have the stage carriage permits.
Besides, temporary permits will be issued to 3,000 private buses and 2,500 tourist buses. An official from the Transport department explained that out of the total 80,000 maxi cabs in the State, around 30,000 operate from Bengaluru alone.The official said that parts of north Karnataka would be worst hit as there is no private bus facility in most of the districts.
Plans are on to make alternative arrangements in the north Karnataka region also, the official said. The minister said the government is ready to negotiate with the unions regarding the salary hike only if they withdraw the strike. “We cannot negotiate with them if they demand 35% hike in the salary.
This would mean an additional expenditure of Rs 4,650 crore to the exchequer,” he added.Unions reject CM’s appeal Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s appeal to the state road transport corporation employees to call off the protest to ‘give priority to public interest and give up strike’ went futile on Sunday.
The unions refused to withdraw the protest. “Karnataka has been recognized for its public transport system in other states. This is the lifeline of computers particularly students, poor and working class who cannot afford other modes of transport.
There are a few including patients who need these facilities in case of emergency”, he said. Promising to provide 10% hike in the salary of the employees, the chief minister said: “We can give 10% hike based on the economic viability of different transport corporations. We can further discuss the other demands put forth by the employees in a mutual way.”