Bengaluru: Private transporters call off strike as govt agrees to demands, no consensus on Shakti scheme

Transport minister Ramalinga Reddy agrees to fulfill 27 demands raised by unions

PTI09_11_2023_000113B Buses parked at Kalasipalyam bus stand in view of a day-long 'bandh' called by the Federation of the Karnataka State Private Transport Associations | PTI

In a development that brings relief to Bengaluru residents, the Federation of Karnataka State Private Transport Associations has called off the bandh after Transport minister Ramalinga Reddy agreed to fulfill most of their demands. In the wake of the strike called by the unions, autorickshaws, private buses and cabs stayed off the roads since morning, forcing the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to ply additional buses to meet demand.

Cricketer Anil Kumble also took a BMTC bus to get back home from the airport. He took to X to share a picture of him standing in a bus.

Of the 30 demands put forth by the union, the government has agreed to 27, according to reports. Reddy met representatives of the 32 unions on Monday morning after they held a protest march from the city's Majestic area to Freedom Park. The decision has been conveyed to Nataraj Sharma, president of the association. The government has opposed the union's demand for the withdrawal of the Shakti scheme, monthly grants to autodrivers and the exemption of life tax on vehicles costing between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh.

The Shakti scheme, one of the Congress government's poll promises, allows free bus travel for the women of the state. The private transport operators have been demanding adequate compensation from the Karnataka government to cover the loss of revenue incurred by the implementation of the scheme.

Reddy had said earlier that the private transport union is demanding Rs 1000 crore as compensation. “Things which I can solve, I have taken actions on that,” he told ANI.

With private cabs and autos off the roads, several schools in the city had declared a holiday for children on Monday.


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