BHOPAL: After a gap of over four months, five low-floor buses were operated on SR-1 route sans passengers on Thursday. The trial bus running will continue for three days.
This comes five days ahead of the deadline given by the court to Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Durgamba Motors to settle their dispute regarding the pending salaries to low-floor bus drivers, conductors and technicians.
Earlier, the court had told the concerned parties including BMC, Durgama Bus Operators and Bhopal City Yan Chalak/Parichalak Trade Union to come to a mutual understanding and settle the issue. They have to again appear before the court on July 20 with their decision. The union, which is an umbrella body of drivers, technicians, conductors and other staff, has been protesting over non- disbursement of salaries for over the last four months. BMC has to clear dues of Rs 5 crore to Durgamba Motors, the bus operator.
Advocate Dr Rajesh Sharma said, “We are hopeful that the concerned parties will come to an amicable settlement keeping in mind the interest of the bus staffers in the next court hearing. ” The buses will resume their operations once the dispute over the disbursement of the pending salaries is settled.
Bhopal City Yan Chalak/Parichalak Trade Union president Aziz Khan said, “Today, five buses were operated on trial without any passengers. Buses will resume operations after pending salaries of the staff are cleared. Besides we have to ensure that buses are all well serviced before they hit the roads. Now we are waiting for July 20 when the concerned parties would appear before court with their decision.”
Speaking on the delay in disbursement of salaries, Khan said, “BMC is ready to pay Rs 25 lakh immediately but Durgamba Motors is adamant for clearance of all dues, which stands at Rs 5 crore, at one go.” The staffers are quite hopeful that the concerned parties would come to take decision in their favour and the buses will be back on the roads post July 20. The buses were off roads for over four months and so now require repair and maintenance before they hit the road again.