Chandigarh, April 12–Mr S S Dhillon, Additional Chief Secretary, Transport, Haryana, has appealed to representatives of the roadways unions to call off the strike, come to the talks table, and resume their duties in the interest of the people of the state. The strike is causing lot of inconvenience to the commuters.

         Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Dhillon said the government was working for the welfare of its employees, including those of the state roadways, which plied about 13,500 buses every day, catering to the travelling needs of the passengers. The Stage Carriage Permit Scheme, which is being opposed by the roadways unions, would help in providing coordinated and efficient road transport services.

He clarified that Haryana Roadways would continue to have exclusive jurisdiction on all inter-state routes included in the scheme.  While 300 buses have already been purchased, tender for 300 more is in final stage. In addition, 300 buses would be added to the roadways fleet during the current financial year.

He described the talk that the government intended to make the roadways a private body as baseless and divorced from truth. The State Carriage Permit Scheme is being introduced with the sole objective of adding to the convenience of the people by providing maximum transport services.

Mr Dhillon said there were about 1,300 routes of state roadways out of which only 273 had been allotted to private operators. Only short routes have been given to them under the scheme. The remaining routes would be exclusively managed by the Haryana Roadways, including the long-distances routes, and those leading to other states.  

 

Various demands of the unions have already been met and doors are still open to hold further discussions. As many as 869 posts of helpers have already been advertised for, and requisition for 2,038 posts of drivers and 930 conductors has been sent to the Haryana Staff Selection Commission.

Mr Dhillon said that orders had been issued to all private operators to install GPS systems in the 853 private buses within 48 hours. After installation of the GPS systems, if any permit holder changes his route, his security deposit of Rs 1 lakh would be forfeited.

 Besides, the permit holders would have to abide by all conditions applicable in the state roadways buses like the facility of free or discounted travel. For the convenience of people, all private bus operators are giving full service. In addition, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, PRTC, PUNBUS authorities have been requested to increase the plying of buses on main routes in the state.

In reply to a query, Mr Dhillon said that services of 120 employees of state roadways had been placed under suspension as they were instigating other employees to join strike and misleading them.
          Media Advisor to Chief Minister, Mr Amit  Arya, was also present on this occasion.