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17 buses damaged during strike

THE BALANCING ACT: Early morning rain and strike in Bangalore on Thursday caused hardship to schoolchildren and college students. — Photo: K. Gopinathan

THE BALANCING ACT: Early morning rain and strike in Bangalore on Thursday caused hardship to schoolchildren and college students. — Photo: K. Gopinathan  

Autorickshaw strike causes hardship to office-goers, students

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Barring stray incidents of stone throwing in which 17 buses were damaged, the strike called by the major central trade unions passed off peacefully in the city on Thursday. Life was not affected.

But the dawn-to-dusk autorickshaw strike caused inconvenience to the people. As autorickshaws were off the road and it rained heavily in the morning, people going to work and students were put to hardship. Umbrella-carrying children riding pillion on two-wheelers was common throughout the city.

Work came to halt at nationalised banks and insurance companies as their employees participated in the strike. Thin attendance was reported from post offices, public sector undertakings and some of the State Government offices and the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike. Some private educational institutions had declared a holiday.

Air services were partially affected as the employees of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) took part in the strike. AAI Director Krishna Murthy told The Hindu that the HAL officials managed the air traffic control and emergency services as AAI employees struck work.

Railway authorities said there was no disruption in train services as the "loco drivers" decided not to take part in the strike.

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) officials said they had deployed an additional 160 buses in view of the autorickshaw strike. For the convenience of the train passengers, all the buses starting from the Kempe Gowda bus terminus were made to pass through the City Railway Station, they said.

Commissioner of Police Ajai Kumar Singh told presspersons that BMTC buses were damaged in stone throwing at Kamakshipalya, Hosur Road, K.R. Circle, Vijayanagar, Sampangiramnagar, Sriramapuram and Sultanpalya.

At some places, the miscreants deflated the tyres of BMTC buses. The police have arrested eight persons in this regard, he said.

BMTC Managing Director Upendra Tripathi put the damage at Rs. 1.70 lakhs. He said the BMTC had suffered a revenue loss of Rs. 40,000 because of the strike.

As hundreds of trade union activists came in a procession from the Mysore Bank Circle and held a public meeting at Banappa Park, vehicular traffic in central parts of the city was affected for some time.

The police had closed the J.C. Road for traffic for nearly two hours to ensure that the protestors did not throw stones at the BMTC buses near Banappa Park. Dr. Singh said that such a step was taken as the protesters had damaged BMTC buses at Banappa Park when the Centre for Indian Trade Union (CITU) recently held a rally there.

Vehicular traffic was affected on Hosur Road for sometime as workers staged a demonstration near the Koodlu Gate. In Peenya, factory workers took out a procession and held a public meeting. Work was affected at several units in the Peenya Industrial area.

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