Indore Bus drivers strike stalls journey of 20,000+ commuters

Indore: More than 20,000 passengers had to face tough time on Sunday as services at all the bus stations across city were stopped due to strike called by Bus Drivers Association, on Sunday. The strike came as a protest against Union government amendments making offences under IPC section 304 A a non-bailabale one and thus, encircling the bus drivers, who now have to secure bail from court if charged under offences like rash or negligent driving.

Meanwhile, large number of people, who reached the bus stations as usual to leave for their destinations in other cities, had to return home or get stranded as no buses were run from any of the depots. President of Bus Drivers Association Sardar Singh said, “We didn’t want to go on strike, but the government has forced us to do so by making such laws.”

He said that “Accidents take place unintentionally and sometimes even due to negligence of both the parties. Earlier, we could get bail from police station alone, but now, following the central government decision we will have to go to court for bail. The process of securing bail takes a long time in the courts of our country and during that time period, an innocent driver has to rot in jail.” He said that the strike was for one day only and it was called off in the evening.

Prime Route Bus Owners’ Association also extended support to the striking drivers. President of the association Govind Sharma said, “Demands by the bus drivers are justified and we support them as the decision by government have enough chances to lead them to trouble.” Sharma said that more than 1,500 buses of various routes including Indore, Ujjain, Dewas, Khandwa, Khargone, Dhar, Jhabua, Ratlam, Neemuch and others were on cancelled for the day.

According to sources, the strike also affected business to the tune of over Rs 25 lakh in one day. One of the passengers Maya Mishra, who reached Sarwate Bus Stand for taking a bus to Ujjain, had to return to her relatives’ place due to the strike. She waited for two hours at the bus station but to no avail.

“I had come to Indore on Saturday to take part in a condolence meet and was going back to my place on Sunday morning. I left the house alone to catch the bus but didn’t get a single one even after two hours. Later, I decided to return to the relatives place for the day more,” she added. Like her, many other passengers faced difficult time and got little relief in the evening, when few bus drivers return to resume services.