Aug 10, Colombo: The Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry says that a number of measures have been taken to minimize the inconvenience faced by the railway commuters due to the unannounced strike launched by the Sri Lanka Railway Department trade unions entered into a third day today.
The Ministry of Transport has canceled the leave of all employees of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) until the train strike is over. The SLTB has deployed additional buses to meet the excess demand of the commuters. A fleet of over 500 buses have been deployed for the transport of schoolchildren. The government has granted permission for railway commuters to travel in SLTB buses with their railway season tickets.
The students taking the GCE Advanced Level examination are adversely affected by the train strike. The people have strongly opposed the railway workers launching a strike without prior notice when the GCE A / L examination is being held. The students who hold the season tickets are the mostly affected.
According to Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry Secretary G.S. Vithanage, buses will be allowed to operate on any route to alleviate the inconvenience faced by the public and the Police have already been informed about the Ministry decision.
Sri Lanka Army has deployed 44 buses at the request of the Ministry to transport passengers with the assistance of Army personnel.
Meanwhile, 19 trains operated in the morning and in the evening, the Railway department said.
Nine trains operated from outskirts to Colombo in the morning and 10 trains operated from Colombo Fort and Maradana to Kandy, Anuradhapura, Rambukkana, Mahawa, Galle, Matara, Chilaw, Avissawella and Polgahawela, the department said.