Bengaluru: As the country shut down protesting against the high petrol and diesel prices on Monday, autorickshaw drivers in the city exploited the Bharath Bandh to fleece hapless commuters, who were stranded because of lack of public transport and very few cabs and autos plying on the roads.
The commuters had no option but to pay the exorbitant fares asked by auto drivers. Mr Balakumaran, a techie, who wanted to head to Electronic City for an important meeting, said that he shelled out a whopping Rs 1,200 for just 22 km.
“I had to go to the office as I had to finalise a project report and a video-conferencing lined up with our client abroad. I thought there would be some buses to Electronic City and I could take it. But no buses were plying on the road. The same auto ride on other days would have cost me Rs 500," Mr Balakumaran said.
Commuters from across the city had similar tales to tell. But by afternoon, things started returning to normal as BMTC, autorickshaws and taxis resumed operation.