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Passengers hit as Pvt bus owners go on flash strike

14th January 2018, 02:01 Hrs

the goan I network
PANAJI
The three-day quarrel between the staff of Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) and a private bus owner and alleged inaction from Panaji Police despite a complaint escalated on Saturday with the private bus owners suspending operations across the State for more than six hours leaving passengers stranded at various bus stands.
However, in a major sigh of relief for stranded passengers including tourists, students and office-goers, private bus owners resumed operations after 6 pm.
As per information, the incident occurred at 11.30 am on Saturday when a group of nearly 20 KTC bus drivers and conductors restrained the driver of a private bus and abused him. Nonetheless, a police official Deepak Phadte who was on his way home after duty hours was also threatened and manhandled by the group when he tried to ‘film' the entire incident.
The incident instigated private bus owners to suspend operations immediately at Panaji bus stand which left passengers on various routes across the State stranded. The KTC buses, however continued to ply passengers.
Learning about the incident, KTC Chairman Carlos Almeida also reached the spot and tried to pacify both the sides and assured to conduct an inquiry into the incident.
"We will conduct a detailed inquiry and if any of our staff is found guilty we will take strict action", he assured.
Meanwhile, All Goa Private Bus Owners Association General Secretary Sudip Tamhankar who was at the Panaji Police Station left with a copy of FIR only to meet the private bus owners at the Panaji bus stand. However, not convinced with the FIR, private bus owners led a silent morcha to Panaji Police Station where they demanded arrest of the accused. After spending nearly two hours outside the police station deliberating over the issue with Panaji PI and officials of Traffic Cell, the private bus owners decided to resume operations.
Speaking to The Goan Everyday, Tamhankar alleged that the entire episode took place as a result of inaction on part of Panaji PI.
"We had lodged complaint of the first incident on January 11 at about 10.30 pm. But no FIR was registered. On January 12 also I met Panaji PI and told him to act on the complaint, but no action was initiated by him. When the incident repeated Saturday morning, the private bus owners got agitated and decided to suspend operations", he said.
Tamhankar also informed that the Managing Director of KTC who came to Panaji Police Station in the evening has assured them that no such incidents would take place in future.
KTC Chairman Carlos Almeida has assured to form a coordination committee to resolve the issues between KTC and private bus owners.
Speaking to The Goan Everyday, Almeida informed, "The State Government has approved the file for appointment of a coordination committee for coordination between KTC and private bus owners. It will comprise of three members of private bus owners, KTC MD and GM. I will direct the MD to form it within the next week."