Bengaluru: Private Buses, Auto-Rickshaws, and Taxis Announce Strike on July 27

Public transportation including private bus, tourist bus, auto-rickshaws, and taxi drivers declared a strike on July 27 in Bengaluru.

Bengaluru: In a joint decision, more than 20 organizations representing private bus operators, tourist operators, auto-rickshaws, and taxi drivers declared a strike on July 27 in Bengaluru. The strike aims to exert pressure on the state government to address their grievances, primarily related to the impact of the Shakti scheme, which offers free travel for women on state-operated buses.

S Nataraj Sharma, representing the Federation of Karnataka State Private Transport Associations, highlighted the diverse demands of each organization. A major concern has been the exclusion of private bus operators from the Shakti scheme, leading to significant financial challenges for them.

Since its introduction on June 11, the Shakti scheme has witnessed an overwhelming response, with the four state-run bus corporations in Karnataka recording a remarkable daily ridership of 5.57 million female passengers. The surge in numbers has exceeded initial projections, amounting to a daily ticket value of ₹13.40 crore.

“Private bus operators have suffered a lot after the government introduced the Shakti scheme allowing free travel for women. We have been demanding that the government extend the scheme to private bus operators so that we can also survive,” said Sharma.

The formal announcement of the strike is scheduled for July 20. Auto-rickshaw drivers’ unions, affected by the Shakti scheme’s implications on their business, are demanding monetary compensation from the government. Meanwhile, auto and taxi drivers are advocating for a ban on bike taxis operating within the city.

On the day of the strike, July 27, these associations plan to stage a rally, starting from Kranti Veera Sangolli Rayanna Railway station and concluding at Freedom Park. The demonstration aims to draw attention to the pressing issues faced by the transportation industry and emphasize the urgency of the government’s response to their demands.

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