Public transport services, including those of KSRTC and BMTC, are likely to be affected across the state from Wednesday with employees planning to stage an indefinite strike.

To avoid inconveniencing passengers, the department decided to issue temporary permits to private operators, including for private contract carriages and maxicabs/minibuses.

However, cabs and taxi services will continue to operate in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka even as several employees of the state-run public transport corporation have decided to begin an indefinite strike on Wednesday, demanding pay revision.

“We offer our moral support for tomorrow's strike by transport employees. However, our services will continue as usual,” Tanveer Pasha, President of Karnataka Ola, Uber Drivers and Owners Association said on Tuesday.

Several employee unions of staff working at Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), North-East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC), North West Road Transport Corporation (NWRTC), and Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) have decided to stay off duty, demanding an immediate response from the government over their demands.

The Karnataka government on Tuesday warned of strict action and ruled out any negotiations with them. Noting that most of the demands made by the employees have been addressed despite financial constraints due to Covid-19, the government made it clear that their demand for implementation of the sixth pay commission report for the Road Transport Corporation workers cannot be fulfilled.

Meanwhile, in a second appeal made to road transport employees’ unions in the state urging them to cancel plans of an indefinite strike from April 7, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi cited the model code of conduct, which is in place for the upcoming bypolls, as the hindrance for the government to take a decision on revising their salaries.

Reiterating that an indefinite strike would cause inconvenience to the general public, Savadi said, “The government is unable to make any announcement on pay revision as the Model Code of Conduct is already in place in Bidar, Raichur and Belagavi (for the upcoming bypolls). It is mandatory that prior permission is sought from the Election Commission (EC) and we have already approached them in this regard.”

The four-day strike by employees in December last year had crippled transport services across the state.