New Delhi: Ahead of the DTC strike on Monday, the Delhi government imposed the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) on Saturday, prohibiting the contractual employees from agitating for the next six months.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal invoked ESMA citing bus transport as an "essential service" for the people of the city.

The Delhi Transport Corporation drivers and conductors have been on an unauthorised strike since October 22, and have decided to go on an overall strike on October 29.

Here’s what the workers are demanding:

  • Better working conditions and better pay.
  • That the DTC should withdraw a circular reducing the wages of contractual workers.
  • Same pay for same work for everyone.
  • To stop privatisation of public transport through rampant outsourcing of work.
  • An expansion of DTC bus fleet

The strike will keep 3,700 DTC buses off the road.

Manoj Sharma, the president of DTC Contractual Workers Union, however, asserted that the strike would continue indefinitely. "Many cops are here, and they might detain us to end the strike, he said.

The strike is being supported by other trade unions in DTC such as the DTC Workers Union (affiliated to AITUC) and the DTC Employees Congress (affiliated to INTUC).