Chandigarh: Contractual employees of the state-owned Punjab Roadways and PRTC on Thursday blocked entry and exit gates of all bus stands in the state for two hours as they stepped up their agitation in support of their demand for regularisation of their jobs. Protesters on Wednesday had announced that they will intensify their agitation after their meeting with senior officials of the state government over their demands remained inconclusive.
Around 8,000 contractual employees had gone on an indefinite strike on Monday, demanding regularisation of their jobs and increase in bus fleet size. Nearly 2000 buses of the state-owned Punjab Roadways and Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) continued to stay off roads, said protesters.
Private buses, however, are plying in the state. The main objective of blocking gates of all bus stands in the state for two hours was to register our protest against the Punjab government for not addressing issues, Punjab Roadways and PRTC Contract Workers’ Union president Resham Singh Gill said on Thursday.
He stated that the protesters staged sit-ins at the gates of bus stands and shouted slogans against the state government for not acceding to their demands. The two-hour long protest commenced at 10 am, he said. At some places, the protests continued for more than two hours, said Gill. In view of the protest, private bus operators were forced to stop their vehicles outside the bus stands for passengers.
Bus passengers continued to remain at the receiving end because of the ongoing agitation by contractual employees of the state-owned Punjab Roadways and PRTC. The protesters have been pressing the state government to accept their demands.
Besides regularisation of jobs, the protesters are also demanding an increase in the fleet size from around 2,500 buses at present to at least 10,000 and measures to check alleged transport mafia.