The KSRTC employees’ strike continued for the second day in Hassan, Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru districts. However, a few employees returned to work restoring the transport services in select routes.
In Hassan, KSRTC buses were operated on five routes. “The trainee staff had reported to duty and we assigned them routes, connecting Hassan-Holenarsipur, Arkalgud-Hassan, Ramanathapura-Hassan, Channaraypatna-Shravanabelgola”, said Rajesh Shetty, Divisional Controller of Hassan.
Each bus is escorted by police vehicles and the driver and conductor are accompanied by senior officers of the corporation. KSRTC Divisional Controller Rajesh Shetty accompanied the staff for a trip. However, unknown persons threw a stone at a KSRTC bus near Halekote on the Hassan-Holenarsipur route. “Two people riding a bike threw a stone at the bus. No passenger was injured”, the officer said.
The KSRTC officials have filed a police complaint against Pradeep, a driver-cum-conductor, attached to Arkalgud depot. He had begun a padayatra from Channarayapatna to submit a memorandum to Chief Minister personally on behalf of the employees in the corporation. “His act amounts to instigating violence. We have filed a complaint against him with Channaraypatna police”, the DC said.
He further said many employees were willing to return to work, but were in fear. “Our officers have visited the employees at their residences to convince them to return to duty. They are ready to return if others also join them.”
In Shivamogga, around 25 employees returned to duty on Thursday and 12 routes operated from Shivamogga bus stand. Naveen T.R., Divisional Controller of Shivamogga, told The Hindu 12 buses were operated on routes connecting Bhadravati, Sagar, Thirthahalli, Honnali and Shikaripura from Shivamogga. “Some have come back to voluntarily. We are hopeful that a few more will return to duty”, he said.
Similarly, in Chikkamagaluru division, 18 people returned to work and nine routes were operated. H.T. Veeresh, Divisional Controller, said nine routes connecting Kadur, Belur, Sakleshpur, Arsikere and Banavara were operated. “We are still convincing the employees to come back to duty”, he added. Besides KSRTC buses, private buses continue to operate in the district.