PRTC strike leaves commuters stranded during heavy rain : The Tribune India

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PRTC strike leaves commuters stranded during heavy rain

PRTC strike leaves commuters stranded during heavy rain

PRTC contractual employees protest. Rajesh Sachar



Tribune News Service

Mohit Khanna

Patiala, November 30

Hundreds of passengers were left stranded as contractual employees of PEPSU Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) staged a protest. They blocked the entry and exit points of the bus terminus, causing a big traffic jam on the Rajpura-Patiala road. Long queues of vehicles snaked around the bus stand intersection, disrupting the flow of traffic.

Commuters stranded at the bus terminus in Patiala on Thursday. Rajesh Sachar

Harkesh Singh Vicky, vice-president of the Roadways/PRTC Contractual Employees Union, said, “We are fighting for the existence of Roadway and PRTC-run bus services as the government is transferring control of these institutions into private hands. Approximately 250 buses are already operated by private operators under the kilometre scheme, and now the government plans to introduce 219 more private buses under the same scheme. We strongly oppose this move and demand that instead of privatisation, the government should invest in purchasing more buses to generate additional employment. Privatisation will only lead to the exploitation of workers."

Vishal, a student from Nabha, said, "The government needs to address this issue promptly and find a resolution. Passengers should not have to suffer due to these disruptions."

Passengers faced considerable inconvenience, and a man travelling to Ismailabad in Kurukshetra complained that he had to endure a two-hour wait for a bus. Frustrated with the situation, many local commuters decided to walk to their destinations despite the rain, while others travelling by auto-rickshaws were also not spared trouble.

Sangita Rani, a commuter from Rajpura headed for Patiala, said, "I may have to hire an auto to reach Rajpura, given the circumstances."

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