Ludhiana, November 27
Passengers experienced inconvenience when a large number of government-operated buses were deployed to ferry AAP workers and supporters for the AAP’s rally attended by party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal in Dhuri on Monday.
In the absence of the government buses on different routes, numerous passengers had to opt for private buses today. Many women, who despite being entitled to free travel on government buses in the state, were also compelled to use private transportation on the occasion. It was the third political event in the past three months where government-operated buses have been utilised.
According to information provided by employees of the Punjab Roadways and PRTC, Ludhiana depots dispatched 150 buses, including 80 buses of Punjab Roadways and 70 of PRTC, to Dhuri for the AAP’s rally, while Jagraon and Moga depots contributed around 90 buses of the Punjab Roadways. A number of government-operated buses from Sangrur and Barnala depots were also mobilised for the event, as per sources.
On October 2, a total of 142 government-operated buses from Ludhiana were deployed to transport party workers and supporters to the AAP’s rally in Patiala. In September, a similar situation occurred when around 85 government buses from Ludhiana were utilised for the AAP’s event in Amritsar.
A number of passengers were seen waiting for the government buses at Amar Shaheed Sukhdev Insterstate Bus Terminal in Ludhiana on Monday. Jaswinder Kaur, a passenger, said there were fewer government buses in operation today as compared to normal days. She said she had to travel in a private bus and expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of prior information about today’s bus schedule. Another passenger said it was sheer harassment for the passengers as the government buses were being used for other purposes.
A member of Punjab Roadways, PUNBUS, and PRTC Contract Workers Union, Punjab, claimed that nearly 1,500 government-operated buses from various depots in the state were rushed to the AAP’s rally held in Dhuri. He said they had been performing their duties as per instructions of the state government but their demands, including the regularisation of contractual employees, were still being ignored.
An official from the Transport Department confirmed that a total of 80 buses from Punjab Roadways from the Ludhiana depot were allocated for the rally held in Dhuri while an employee of the PRTC said 70 buses of the PRTC from the Ludhiana depot were deployed for the AAP’s rally.
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