Kullu: Defying court orders, a strike by state public transporter Himachal Roadways (HRTC) severely paralysed bus service in district today as the employees stayed away from work, expressing their resentment against the management for not fulfilling the demands that they have been asking for a long time.
The vital public bus service came to a halt early in the day at 4 a.m. as the strike stopped operating all the 165 buses in the district, putting thousands of commuters to inconvenience on the about 200 routes that these buses ply on regularly. Many people were forced to hire taxis to reach their destinations.
Pyare Lal, an HRTC employee and state president of the conductor union told Hill Post, “For a long time we have been trying to make the management aware about our demands but even after a long time we get nothing except false assurances that’s why we have struck work to express our resentment.”
“We first held a meeting in morning before deciding to protest. Our management is ignoring our basic needs such as no pension for retired employee for six months, no reimbursement of medical bills and others. If the problems persists, we will not hesitate to protest on a larger scale as we toil hard to earn our dues, he said.
Whether demands of the striking employees are met or not, but the public has had to face a day when public transport came to a halt in the district at a time when tourist season is at its peak.
Road transport is the only means of public transport in the hilly state and the Himachal Pradesh High Court, in an order yesterday, had declared the strike call illegal as bus service is considered an essential service.