Bengaluru: BMTC and KSRTC ran skeletal services as over 40 buses were pelted with stones in Malleswaram, Yeshwanthpur and other parts of the city and state as trade unions observed the second day of their two-day Bharat Bandh on Wednesday.
Sources said 35 BMTC and 12 KSRTC buses were damaged in stone-throwing incidents. Commuters complained that they were stranded as no buses were plying. Partial services resumed only after 4 pm.
"We don't know whether the BMTC drivers too were taking part in the strike. But the authorities should have made alternative arrangements as thousands of people especially poor daily wage workers were stranded across the city. We did not have a holiday and we waited for nearly two hours before we got a bus at Majestic. We could not hire an autorickshaw as they were asking for exorbitant fares," said Hemanth S., a regular BMTC commuter.
BMTC, used by nearly 45 lakh people every day, lost around Rs 3 crore on Wednesday because of cancellation of services. Most schools and colleges were open and students had to depend on private vehicles, cabs and autorickshaws to reach their institutions. Several complaints of fleecing by auto drivers were reported.
"As buses were damaged on Tuesday morning, only 10-20 per cent of buses were operated. By evening, we decided to operate more buses to help commuters," a BMTC senior official said.
KSRTC cancelled 2,171schedules covering 8.26 lakh km and losing nearly Rs 2 crore. NWKRTC reduced 54 per cent of operations and NEKRTC 50 per cent operations. KSRTC officials said 17 buses, including four Volvo and eight Karnataka Sarige vehicles, were damaged in stone pelting incidents in Wilson Garden, Nelamangala, Mysuru Road, Adugodi and Madanayakanahalli.
Shops remained open in KR Market and Yeshwantpur APMC Yard. Hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, theatres and fuel outlets too functioned normally. Private buses operated inter-city services and truck drivers too did not participate in the strike.
With as low as 428 BMTC buses plying on road since morning, autorickshaws lined up at bus-stops since early morning. The demand for Ola and Uber too increased as BMTC suspended operations after stone-pelting incidents....