Roads wear a deserted look as most of the buses are off the road
The Opposition-sponsored bandh in the city on Tuesday against the steep hike in power tariff and erratic power supply evoked a good response hitting life in Visakhapatnam.
Opposition parties stormed the thoroughfares campaigning in support of the State-wide bandh call given by Opposition parties. Many shops and commercial establishments downed their shutters.
RTC buses were off the road and autos plied but in a fewer number. Banks, offices, hotels and malls closed down and employees had to struggle to reach offices. ATMs were also closed. With petrol bunks also closing down in MVP Colony, Isukathota, Madhavdhara and Siripuram those who used personal transport found it difficult to get petrol. The few RTC buses that plied were stopped at different places. .
Workers of TDP, CPI(M), CPI, BJP and YSRC went around and organised rasta roko at various junctions including Maddilapalem, Asilmetta and Jagadamabja junction.
CPI(M) district secretary Ch. Narsinga Rao said bandh was a success with several sections reeling under the heavy increase of the tariff voluntarily participating.
TDP urban president Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar, who led workers at several areas in the central part of the city, described the bandh as a success. Protestors also stopped traffic at the Collectorate and did not allow employees to go in. The agitating workers got the various offices in the VUDA office complex to close down and staged a dharna. Visakhapatnam East MLA V. Ramakrishnababu led a motorcycle rally from MVP Colony. YSRCP leader G.V. Ravi Raju and party men organised a protest at Sitampeta. At Asilmetta there were a few tense moments with BJP leader K. Haribabu taking to task an RTC driver who speeded up past agitators trying to stop it.
The Left parties organised a rally from Maddilapalem to Automotive Junction. A rasta roko was organised. CPI(M) and CPI district secretaries Ch. Narsinga Rao and J.V. Satyanaryana Murthy, YSRC city convener Vamsikrishna Srinivas, BJP leaders M. Nagendra and P.V.N. Madhav and Suresh Kumar of SUCI participated.
CPI workers reached the Maddilaplem early in the morning and prevented buses from moving out. Mr. Murthy condemned the large-scale deployment of police and arrests. Activists of CPI(ML-New Democracy), PoW, IFTU and Murikivadala Nivasula Samkshema Sangham and Arunodaya protested at Maddilapalem and organised a rasta roko, according to POW state vice-president M. Lakshmi. At Madhurawada, the Left parties, YSRC and BJP organised a rally.