The Nation would witness a general strike/ Bandh on April 30 called by several Transport Associations under the banner of AIRTW, who are protesting against the Road Transport and Safety Bill 2014. They claim that the bill provides biased advantages to private bus operators. Buses, Autos, Taxis won’t by plying on the Road, causing troubles to the daily commuters who rely on them. Apart from this, BJP and Left Parties have called for a Statewide Bandh in West Bengal on the same day. However the issues of these two shutdown calls are completely unrelated.
The Bandh would be supported by various organizations including CITU, AITUC, INTUC, BMS, HMS, AICCTU and independent state unions, LPF (Tamil Nadu), UP Roadways Karmachari Samyukt Parishad, Gujarat State Transport Workers Federation, NLO and Uttarakhand Roadways Karmachari Samyukt Parishad.
Apart from Buses, Autos would also keep off the road. According to reports, no auto service would be available in metro cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai. The Bandh would also be observed in parts as far as North East India.
The major opposition to the Bill and subsequent protests leading to shutdown comes from the employees of State owned Transport firms like BMTC and KSRTC of Karnataka. It is feared that lakhs of employees including drivers, bus conductors would be unemployed if the bill is implemented.
The supporters of the Bandh claim that the new bill will curtail the powers of state-owned transport firms while giving an “unfair advantage” to private bus operators.
The Draft Bill has proposed a point based penalty system in case of traffic violations by drivers, apart from monetary penalty and jail terms. For each violation penalty point(s) would be assigned to the drivers. These Penalty points would be kept in record for 3 consecutive years and the accrual of 12 points would lead to the suspension of his driving licence for one year.
One of the major repercussions of the Bandh has been the postponement of CET 2015 to May 12-14, conducted by Karnataka Examination Authority.
Story is developing. Stay tuned.