Commuters hit as KSRTC and private buses stay off the road
Dakshina Kannada witnessed a near total bandh on Thursday in response to the call given by the Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and other organisations to protest against the increase in the price of petrol.
Roads in Mangalore and other parts of the district looked deserted. Commuters were put to hardship as KSRTC and private bus operators stayed off the road. A few autorickshaw drivers were seen making some quick buck. Most of the shops and business establishments, excluding medical shops, remained closed. Many hospitals functioned with skeletal staff.
People arriving in the city were put to inconvenience. Commuters were seen stranded at the Mangalore Central and Mangalore Junction railway stations. People were forced to pay nearly five times more than the prescribed fare for the services of autorickshaws. Many were seen stranded at the KSRTC Bus-Stand because of withdrawal of bus service to different parts of the State.
There were protests and demonstrations during the day in Mangalore. Workers of Bharatiya Janata Party, including MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, went around Mangalore riding bicycles. The BJP Yuva Morcha activists went around asking shopkeepers to down shutters.
A few shop owners resisted and operated throughout the day. Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers blocked the Mangalore-Kabaka-Puttur passenger train for some time. Autorickshaw drivers staged a demonstration and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.
Many shops and business establishments remained closed throughout the day in Puttur, Sullia and Belthangady. While buses were off the road through out the day, few autorickshaws and private vehicles operated. The police said no untoward incident had been reported from any part of the district.
KSRTC Divisional Controller M. Ramesh said the KSRTC resumed its service from 6 p.m. on Thursday. They had to cancel some of premium bus services, including three Volvo buses to Bangalore, on Thursday morning. Departure of Volvo buses to Mumbai and Hyderabad were delayed by nearly an hour in the evening, Mr. Ramesh said.
Keywords: petrol price hike