Bengaluru shuts down yet again

Buses go off the roads. Eateries down shutters. Harrowing time for rail, air passengers.

Bengaluru: To the dismay of commuters, BMTC and KSRTC buses, which had only just resumed service following the three day strike by their employees, went off the roads again on Saturday in response to the bandh called by farmers’ leaders of north Karnataka against the Mahayadi tribunal denying the state its share of water.

The services were suspended from 8 am over fears that the buses could be targeted by agitators, and resumed after 6 pm, according to a senior BMTC officer.

Once again the worst hit were passengers arriving in the city from out of town as they had no means of getting home. Most had no idea about the bandh and were stranded at the city bus terminus waiting for buses. With eateries in around the Majestic area closed in support of the bandh, they had a long wait on an empty stomach.

Those heading for the Kempegowda International Airport too had a difficult time with the BMTC withdrawing its Vayu Vajra services and private cab drivers going off the roads as well. “I had to pay nearly double the fare for a cab to the KIAL,” said Mr. Joseph Rego, a resident of Mangaluru, who had to catch a flight to Delhi on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Kannada Rakshana Vedike activists tried to seize the city railway station, but were stopped at the entrance by the railway and city police , leading to a minor scuffle between the activists and the law enforcing officers.

Most city schools, which had closed for the transport employees' strike, shut down again on Saturday, fearing attack by the activists. “Schools announced a holiday not out of support for the bandh, but out of fear,” said an officer of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

“We have been forced to reschedule our class tests several times because of these strikes and this could reflect in the performance of our students. Having lost the first three working days of the week due to the BMTC/ KSRTC strike , we had scheduled additional classes on Saturday, but could not hold these as well,” regretted the principal of an ICSE school.

The Bangalore University, all private universities and colleges also shut down on Saturday for the bandh, according to the department of higher education.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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