Nagpur: Aapli Bus service operator has been puttting the commuters to a great deal of inconvenience in Nagpur as the drivers continued their strike for the second day on Sunday. The buses are likely to remain off roads on Monday also. It may be mentioned that both drivers and conductors are on strike to demand action against police constable Gopal Shinde for assaulting conductor Ashok Walurkar.
Facing allegations of molesting Shinde’s wife, Walurkar got bail and was released on Sunday afternoon. No action has been taken against Shinde despite an assurance given by deputy commissioner of police Rakesh Ola after the incident.
Chairman of city transport committee Bunty Kukde informed that the process to initiate action against IBTM operator Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd (DIMTS) and 16 drivers and conductors has been started. “DIMTS miserably failed to control its conductors and resume services. A team of 16 drivers and conductors have been identified as being responsible for the strike. This group did not allow others to operate buses when some drivers and conductors wished to operate buses on Sunday,” he said.
Kukde added new conductors will be roped into service if required for resuming city buses operations on Monday. “Drivers and conductors are engaged in blackmail. The dispute is between conductors and police department. NMC has nothing to do with the incident. But conductors started to raise other demands, like transfer of Yogesh Navghare who assigns conductors. Necessary measures are required for preventing such strikes in future. We have also written a letter to the police department seeking help in resuming services. But the police did not respond,” he said.
Total 312 city buses remained off the roads on Sunday after the alleged molestation incident on Saturday afternoon. The chances of city bus operations resuming on Monday seem bleak.
The strike also took an ugly turn when conductor Sachin Andurskar and his group ransacked the office of one of the city bus operators at around 2.15pm at Khapri. Following a complaint from the bus operator, Sonegaon police registered an offence against Andurskar and others.
Shiv Sena leader Suresh Talwekar said the strike continued only due to the mistake of DIMTS. “Navghare reached the spot along with another conductor when Walurkar told him the incident on Saturday. Instead of saving Walurkar, Navghare engaged another conductor and released the bus. Similarly, we all wanted to submit a memorandum to DIMTS in charge CP Tiwari and inform him about the incident. But Tiwari did not turn up throughout the day. Demonstration will be organized at RBI Square on Monday. DIMTS is responsible for the loss to passengers, especially students,” he said.
Talwekar added that DCP Ola did not take any action against the constable despite an assurance, so that also one of the reasons for the continuation of strike.
Mayor Nanda Jichkar, municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal and other office bearers from NMC too tried to intervene to end the strike but did not get desired results.