BMTC fires one other 118 employees, calls for 1.7k health report | Bengaluru Information

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BENGALURU: While the open-ended strike began on Saturday on the fourth day, neither the state government nor the workers’ union blinked. With the stalemate, many passengers across the state continued to suffer, especially those going to Ugadi.
However, the State Transport Undertakings (STUs) operated more buses on Saturday: 1,467 (through 6 p.m.), compared to 855 on Friday. Of the 1,467 buses, KSRTC 710, BMTC 201, NEKRTC 350 and NWKRTC 206 drove.
The BMTC laid off 118 apprentices and trial workers on Saturday. So far, 334 BMTC employees have been suspended for failing to report to duty. Independently of this, KSRTC handed over 73 drivers and conductors, four traffic control personnel and eleven mechanics on Saturday because they had not reported for duty.
Meanwhile, BMTC released a list of 1,772 employees, including 998 drivers and 532 conductors over the age of 55, and asked them to submit a medical fitness report by Monday. “There is a clause that states that employees over the age of 55 cannot continue their service until they have presented a medical fitness certificate. This is to prove that they have no health or vision problems. Those who do not do so by Monday are considered to have left the organization, “said a BMTC official.
However, many employees consider this to be a pressure tactic. “You posted a notice on Saturday to file this report on Monday. How is it possible? Sunday is a public holiday. They are unnecessarily forcing us to visit hospitals during the pandemic, “said a BMTC conductor who is part of the strike.
However, a BMTC official said that a report would be accepted by any doctor provided they show it to their respective depots. “But you have to physically visit the depot. We hope to convince at least half of these employees to sign up for service. ”
When asked why BMTC had taken stricter measures compared to other STUs, he said: “For example, KSRTC can move its employees to other districts for punishment. However, this is not possible with BMTC as the staff are ready to work anywhere in Bengaluru. Last time, BMTC employees went on strike and others followed suit. In fact, BMTC has more trainees and probation officers joining strikes before they become permanent. ”
Also on Saturday, the transportation department allowed private operators to drive without a permit amid rampant complaints about overloading and poor frequency of services. The worst hit were passengers, especially engineering students, who turned up for exams. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation Employee League, which went on strike Wednesday to push for a raise, said it would hold demonstrations outside Taluk and district headquarters across the state on Monday.
Radhakrishna Holla, President of the State Tour Operators of Karnataka, said: “The ongoing transport workers’ strike will force many passengers to switch to other modes of transport. Once they switch to the train or subway, they may not return to buses as the other modes are safer and more comfortable. ”
Private operators protest
Some private operators protested at Majestic after STUs, including KSRTC, began skeletal surgery. “We don’t get enough passengers at bus stops and now STUs are picking up passengers and dropping them, which will affect us,” said one operator.