The talks between the Haryana roadways unions and the state government representatives held at Chandigarh on Monday failed to end the standoff between the two parties over the state’s decision to induct 700 private buses into the transport fleet.
A government delegation, led by Additional Chief Secretary (Transport) Dhanpat Singh, spoke to the coordination committee of the roadways unions. However, the talks made no headway as the unions reiterated their demand that the government must scrap the private buses scheme.
“The talks failed yet again as the state government is adamant in implementing the scheme to run private buses,” Sarbat Singh Punia, a member of the coordination committee of the roadways unions told reporters in Chandigarh.
He said the union leaders were assured by Dhanpat Singh that a meeting of the agitating employees with chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar would soon be arranged.
“We were assured that a meeting will be arranged with the chief minister to find an amicable settlement in the issue.
“The delegation also assured us that the government is ready to hold an inquiry into the tendering process for the hiring of private buses. However, we have demanded scrapping of the kilometre scheme under which private buses are being inducted and told them that an inquiry can be held later,” Punia said.
The roadways employees have called the move to induct private buses as “an attempt to privatise transport services”, an allegation which has been strongly denied by the state government.
The talks held earlier between the roadways union leaders and the state delegation during the strike period last month had also failed. Roadways employees had ended their fortnight-long strike on November 2 after the Punjab and Haryana High Court had intervened.
The court had fixed November 14 as the next date of hearing in the matter.
Haryana Advocate General B R Mahajan had assured the court that the government would resolve the matter amicably.
The employees had been on strike since October 16 against the government’s decision to hire 700 buses from private owners. There are about 19,000 employees in the Haryana Roadways, which has a fleet of 4,100 buses, catering to about 12 lakh passengers daily. PTI