BMTC driver attempts suicide; protests disrupt services

A suicide attempt by a bus driver set off protests disrupting Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation services at the Shantinagar depot on Tuesday.

Madhu, 38, who has been working with the BMTC, allegedly consumed poison at his home near Anekal on Monday night.

While he was taken to Victoria Hospital, where he is out of danger, co-workers who gathered at the hospital and at the depot, staged a protest against what they said was the reason for the suicide attempt: “persistent harassment’ by senior officials at the depot.

For nearly three hours in the morning, drivers and conductors on the first shift kept off work, and in all, over 120 buses did not ply, said BMTC officials.

The drivers alleged harassment by the traffic controller and the technical assistant.

“There is a system of corruption here. If money is not given, drivers are made to work multiple shifts and at odd hours. Similarly, only if money is given, leaves are sanctioned or ‘lucrative’ routes, where revenue is high, are given,” said S. Nagaraju, Joint Secretary of KSRTC Staff and Workers’ Federation


It was only after a meeting with Chief Traffic Manager (Operation) K.R. Vishwanath at 10.30 a.m., that the drivers called off their strike and resumed services.

“There was no complaint previously against the officials mentioned. We have removed them from the Shantinagar depot, and will take suitable action after investigation,” said Mr. Vishwanath.

However, it’s not the first time employees have voiced their protest. In July, Banashankari depot workers went on a flash strike against senior officials. In June, services from Kempegowda bus-stand were stalled for a few hours after workers alleged that the depot manager was harassing women crew.

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