Bengaluru: Bus services remained hit across Karnataka for the second consecutive day on Thursday as drivers and conductors of road transport corporations continued their indefinite strike on wage related issues.

With the majority of the employees belonging to all the four transport corporations not attending duty, buses continued to remain mostly off roads across the state including Bengaluru, affecting daily commuters.

Passengers travelling to and from distant areas and office-goers were the most affected. However, the government has tried to make alternate arrangements by roping in private transport operators.

Railways too have chipped in by deciding to run special trains on certain routes to help the commuters aimed at clearing the upcoming Ugadi festival rush, in the wake of RTC workers strike.

Private buses, mini buses, maxi cabs and other passenger transport vehicles were seen operating in different parts of the city and the state, coming to the rescue of stranded passengers.

However, the number of passengers continued to remain scarce in these vehicles as people were using their own vehicles or were seen using cabs, Metro and autorickshaws, especially in the city areas, private operators said.

Stating that a total of about 24,000 RTC buses used to operate every day and it was not possible to gather equal number of private transport vehicles, officials said, so as many number of private buses, mini buses, maxi cabs have been roped in and all kinds of support is being given for them to operate.

Buses that were surrendered will now be allowed to operate by exempting them from paying tax, also vehicles will be allowed to operate for passengers on fixed routes without any permit, officials said.

With the government not ready to concede to their demand for implementation of the sixth pay commission report for RTC workers, employees have decided to continue with the strike, despite Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa warning of strict action and indicating that invoking Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) was under consideration.

Amid threats of ESMA and "no work no pay", very few RTC buses are said to be operating on some routes in the city on Thursday along with police escort, sources said, adding that there are similar reports from few other places in the state.

Complaints about private services including buses, autos and cabs charging exorbitantly, taking advantage of transport strike, continued Thursday as well.

This is despite officials stating that they are doing spot visits and taking action.

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Bengaluru, Apr 20: Karnataka has reported its biggest single day spike of 21,794 COVID-19 cases and 149 related fatalities, taking the total caseload 11.98 lakh and the toll to 13,646, the Health department said on Tuesday.

The state had previously reported its biggest single day spike of 19,067 cases on Sunday.

Out of the 21,794 fresh cases reported on Tuesday, 13,782 were from Bengaluru Urban alone.

The day also saw 4,571 patients getting discharged after recovery.

Cumulatively 11,98,644 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 13,646 deaths and 10,25,821 discharges,the Health department said in a bulletin.

Out of 1,59,158 active cases, 1,58,407 patients are stable and in isolation at designated hospitals, while 751 are in Intensive Care Units.

Among 149 deaths reported on Tuesday, 92 were from Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural (13), Bidar and Kalaburagi (7), Ballari (5), followed by others.

Among the districts where the new cases were reported, Bengaluru Urban accounted for 13,782, Tumakuru 1,055, Kalaburagi 818, Mysuru 699, Bengaluru Rural 513, Dakshina Kannada 482, followed by others.

Bengaluru Urban district topped the list of positive cases, with a total of 5,70,035, followed by Mysuru 63,018 and Ballari 42,745.

Among discharges too, Bengaluru Urban was on top with 4,49,889, followed by Mysuru 57,745 and Ballari 39,829.

A total of over 2,38,64,354 samples have been tested so far, out of which 1,47,488 were done on Tuesday alone.

To view today's health bulletin: CLICK HERE