Bengaluru

Covid-19: With no public transport during ‘Janata Curfew’, citizens stranded

Additionally, on Sunday evening, the State government directed road transport corporations not to operate AC buses till March 31

The almost total shutdown in the city in response to the ‘Janata Curfew’ call made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi saw vehicles, including Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses, remaining off the roads on Sunday.

Even the Namma Metro services, operated by the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), were unavailable. While the entry and exit points of all Namma Metro stations were closed, as announced previously, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) cancelled its operations from the city to various points; more than 2,500 bus schedules were cancelled.

With many citizens opting to stay indoors, there was poor patronage, claimed BMTC officials. BMTC operated only 50 services, out of which a majority were operated to the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA).

A senior BMTC official said, “Around 30 services were operated to the airport. The remaining non-AC services were operated in the city limits. We received very poor response. Hardly one or two people travelled in some buses.”

The BMTC decided to suspend bus service after 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Meanwhile, on Sunday evening, the State government directed the road transport corporations not to operate AC buses till March 31. In line with the directions, the BMTC said there would be no AC bus services to KIA after 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Non availability of public transport affected many citizens, who reached city by train or travelled by long-distance buses.

Akash, who was stranded at Majestic, said, “Usually on bandh days, metro services are available. I thought the BMRCL would operate services. Only after reaching the metro station at Majestic did I realise that metro stations too were closed.”

Passengers who reached Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna City Railway Station also felt the heat.

“I am working in an industry in Whitefield. I did not know that all services were stopped. There are eight of us. All of us are waiting for a bus to take us to Whitefield,” said Raghunath.

Though there was no public transport, a few autorickshaws and cabs operated by aggregators were seen plying on the roads. Many of those who were stranded complained that the autorickshaw drivers were overcharging, even for short distances.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 12:18:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/covid-19-with-no-public-transport-during-janata-curfew-citizens-stranded/article31136838.ece

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