There was a mixed response on Wednesday to the two-day general nation-wide strike call given by the Joint Committee of Trade Unions (JCTU), with a majority of the establishments in the central part of the city remaining closed, and private and KSRTC buses were off the road. Autorickshaws operated in many parts of the city. Most schools and all banks remained closed.
Many shops remained open in the periphery of the city and on the outskirts.
The reaction was near total in Hampanakatta, some shops were open on M.G. Road and near Bunts Hostel Circle. Milk vendors opened a little later than usual in the morning.
Schoolchildren and parents had a tough time as the district administration had not announced a holiday, unlike in a few other districts. Many parents took children back home upon learning that schools were closed. A few schools let off children early.
While schools in the central part of the city remained closed, educational institutions on the outskirts operated with meagre staff. Students of a school in Valencia, which had meagre staff members, allowed some students to return to their houses.
School authorities told The Hindu that giving attendance to students in such a situation depended on the orders of the Deputy Director of Public Instruction.
Several commuters were stranded at the KSRTC bus stand.
One among them was 22-year-old Bhuvan, who wanted to reach his sister’s house in Kundapur.
He arrived at the bus stand at around 9 a.m. from Sullia. “I am waiting for my brother-in-law, who is coming on his motorcycle from Kundapur, to pick me up,” he said.
Some passengers helped their relatives reach the Mangalore City and Mangalore Junction Railway Station early and catch trains. Rajashekar, a resident of Manjeshwar, was dropped by his relative on a motorcycle to the Mangalore City railway station.
“It’s better to reach early than to miss the train, which is the only mode of transport available today.”
Mr. Rajashekar came to the railway station at around noon to catch the train scheduled to depart at 2 p.m.
Autorickshaws operated normally during most part of the day; though very few of them were on the road in the early part of the day.
“There was no problem in getting an autorickshaw. Although, I had to pay one and half times more than the usual fare,” said Prakash B, who had hired an autorickshaw to reach Mangalore Junction station from Bejai.
The autorickshaw drivers at the Mangalore Central railway station said there were fewer passengers arriving at or departing from the Station.
M. Mahesh, KSRTC Divisional Controller, Mangalore, said that KSRTC buses stopped operation from 9 a.m. on Wednesday following a demand by activists to stop operations.
Mr. Mahesh said KSRTC bus operations will operate buses from Wednesday evening.
“It will be normal operations from Thursday,” Mr. Mahesh told The Hindu.
Members of various trade unions held a protest meeting near the office of the Deputy Commissioner on Wednesday morning.
Schools working today
Deputy Commissioner N. Prakash said schools and colleges in the city and other parts of the district would function normally on Thursday. Mr. Prakash said that some educational establishments in the city were closed apprehending difficulty faced by children and teachers to reach the institutions.
Mr. Prakash said there was meagre attendance of teachers and students in many schools in the rural areas of the district.
Mr. Prakash said there were reports of private buses resuming operations from Thursday itself.