Drivers and conductors bring services to grinding halt putting thousands of commuters on the edge. Strike called off after authorities assure resolving of many demands of striking drivers and conductors.
Nagpur: Jolted by the flash strike by the drivers and conductors of Star Bus on Tuesday (January 19) following bloody attacks on two drivers by two goons near Krida Chowk on Monday night, the authorities have decided to install CCTV cameras in all the buses running on city streets. This was one of the demands of the striking drivers and conductors. Following the assurance to install CCTV cameras and resolving other problems being faced by the drivers and conductors the strike was called off and buses started running from the second shift (1 pm onwards) but not before putting thousands of commuters to hassles in unprecedented magnitude.
The flash strike was the outcome of an atrocious act perpetrated by two motorcycle-borne criminals. The armed goons blocked a Star Bus and pulled the driver out of his cabin and assaulted him with knives with clear intention to kill him. The two goons also attacked and injured another Star Bus driver when he tried to save his colleague. The incident occurred near Krida Chowk, Hanuman Nagar on Monday night. The two accused fled the spot and are being hunted by cops.
According to police, Ambadas Dayaramji Shende (38), resident of Manav Seva Nagar, was driving a Star Bus towards Krida Chowk from Tukdoji Statue Square. The two goons suddenly blocked the Star Bus and started abusing Ambadas. They pulled out him from the bus and started attacking him with a knife. Ambadas received serious stab wounds in the attack. Meanwhile, Suresh Shende, another driver of the Star Bus that was passing through the spot, tried to save his colleague but was himself got assaulted by the two goons. Both the drivers were rushed to the GMCH. After booking the two unidentified goons, Ajni cops have launched a hunt to nab them.
Following the bloody attacks, the drivers and conductors of Star Bus went on a flash strike on Tuesday crippling the city bus services. The grinding halt to the wheels brought untold miseries to thousands of commuters across the city. Hundreds of commuters were stranded at dozens of bus stops and the terminus at Sitabuldi.
As the reports of strike reached the concerned authorities they swung into action and called the striking drivers and conductors for negations. Santosh Kanerkar, representative of Maharashtra General Kamgar Union, Mumbai told Nagpur Today that the Union put up several demands before the authorities and many of them were met by the authorities.
The authorities agreed to install CCTV cameras in each and every Star Bus. The move will ensure a sense of safety and security to not only drivers and conductors but also the commuters. The second demand pertained to the in-depth investigation into the suicide of Nikhilesh Bagde, an employee of the Star Bus Company. It is alleged that Nikhilesh committed suicide by jumping into Ambazari Lake a few days ago fed up with the unending harassment at the hands of management of Vansh Nimay Infra Project Ltd, the operator of Star Bus. The authorities assured an in-depth investigation into the suicide by Nikhilesh Bagde. In fact, a thorough probe has already been initiated in the case, said the authorities.
Santosh Kanerkar further said that another demand of striking employees pertained to uncanny tactics adopted by a ticket checker named Jahn. Kanerkar told Nagpur Today that Jahn used to check tickets in running buses at his whims and fancies and implicate conductors in false cases. Later when the ‘guilty’ or ‘falsely implicated’ conductors pleaded to spare them from any action, the ticket checker Jahn demanded money from them. Such complaints against John were piling. Listening to the plight of the conductors, the authorities immediately suspended the ticket checker John, albeit for four days only pending a detailed enquiry. The other demand was curbing the activities of ‘rampaging’ students of various colleges across the city. The students, by their acts, have put the conductors and drivers on the edge. The authorities assured to take the matter to Principals of respective colleges and urge them to rusticate those students who are found creating ruckus in Star Buses, said Kanerkar.
“It has been decided that a meeting between the NMC’s Transport Department official Jagtap, Vansh Nimay Infra Project Ltd and Maharashtra General Kamgar Union will be held soon and all the outstanding issues and problems being faced by drivers and conductors will be resolved,” said Kanerkar.
Following the assurances and fruitful discussions, the drivers and conductors of Star Bus called off the strike and resumed services from the second shift on Tuesday.
It is learnt further that the bloody attack on two drivers of Star Bus also figured in the General Body Meeting of NMC being held at Mahal Town Hall on Tuesday.