Although many government offices in the city functioned on Thursday amid the nationwide shutdown, people by and large chose to stay away from them. The bandh affected people applying for the services of Department of Food and Civil Supplies, especially for work relating to ration cards. The department at the Deputy Commissioner’s office building received only 25 applications from Mangalore taluk under sakala scheme until noon on Thursday as against the 100-odd applications the office gets around the same time on other days, Sharanabasappa, Deputy Director of the Department, told The Hindu. The applications mainly pertained to corrections, additions or deletions in ration cards or transfer of ration cards. The department reserved forenoon for receiving applications under the scheme and afternoon for distributing ration cards of applications received online, he said.

Sridhar from Yeyyadi, who had come to the office with his wife on his motorcycle, said that he forgot to bring a document for making corrections in his ration card. So he was rushing back home to bring the document. “There are no buses. How will people come?” he said.

An official at the passport seva kendra at Navbharat Circle said that of the 232 appointments given on Thursday only 39 candidates turned up. The processing was done on first-come-first-served basis only for the day.

The normally bustling Mangalore City Corporation office was deserted with only a few employees reporting for work. No visitors were seen in the usually busy counter that issues birth and death certificates. Some sections, including engineering and health, computer, and water bill were virtually deserted. The scene was similar at the office of the Deputy Commissioner and Mangalore Taluk Office.An official at the Deputy Commissioner’s office estimated the attendance to be not higher than 35 per cent.

The offices of Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy and Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy at Lalbagh also did not function.

At Kottara, the offices of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat were deserted. The Deputy Secretary at the panchayat K Shivarame Gowda said that only 50 per cent of the employees came to work. He said that many drivers of the panchayat could not report as they could not reach the office for want of transport.

An employee at the office of the Chief Executive Officer said that contractors hardly visited the engineering section on Thursday.

Keywords: Bharat bandh

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