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Rail, air passengers suffer in Bengaluru

Most parts of Karnataka, especially Bengaluru and Mysuru, shut down on Friday in response to the State-wide bandh called in protest against the Supreme Court order to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

There were no major incidents of violence, and the bandh was largely peaceful across the State.

With buses, autos and cabs off the road, and even the Bengaluru Metro service coming to a standstill, hundreds of those coming in or going out of the city by air and rail had to face severe difficulties.

The Kempegowda International Airport resembled a crowded bus terminus as hundreds of passengers waited for long hours either before or after their flights. Even those with late evening flights had arrived early in the morning and waited through the day.

Those who landed during the day had to wait till 6 p.m. when transport services resumed. The situation was similar at key railway stations as well.

Our Chennai Correspondents R. Srikanth, K. Manikandan report

Bandh hits bus services to Bengaluru

With tension simmering at the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border, authorities of various State Transport Corporations stopped buses at the Tamil Nadu side in Hosur, but there were very few passengers. Private bus operators too stopped services to Bengaluru from the city.

A senior official of State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) said that in the buses that were operated till Hosur, passengers who had booked tickets till Bengaluru were given the refund for the remainder of their journey. The Bangalore-bound buses are being halted at Hosur for security reasons for the past three days because of tension in Karnataka over sharing of Cauvery water.

The SETC official said normally 500 buses were operated daily, transporting about 10,000 passengers to Bengaluru, of which 145 would be SETC buses. He said that on Friday the number of buses operated by the State transport corporations were reduced because of the decrease in the number of passengers.

While there were concerns about trains reaching Bengaluru safely, police and Southern Railway officials said there was no cause for concern.

So far, no train to Bengaluru from Chennai has been rescheduled.

Some passengers shared their concern on Twitter, tagging the Railway Ministry if services were operated as per schedule and if the administration would reimburse tickets in case of cancellation. Southern Railway officials said there was no mass cancellation of tickets on the Chennai–Bengaluru route and that waiting list was on the usual high for a weekend.

Government Railway Police sources said that the violent protests in Karnataka did not spill over to Tamil Nadu and hence train services were not affected.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 4:17:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Rail-air-passengers-suffer-in-Bengaluru/article14630953.ece

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