Strike: Confusion as few schools, colleges open

Commutters waiting for BMTC AND KSRTC buses in Nayandanahalli bus stop. DH PHOTO

The Wednesday strike situation - Bharat Bandh's day 2 called by the All India Central Council of Trade unions - was the opposite of Tuesday in Bengaluru.

Bus stops were crowded with commuters as the BMTC and KSRTC stopped operations following reports of stone pelting on vehicles in Ramanagar, Ballari and Magadi Road.

Though most public transport had begun operations in the morning, the depot managers instructed officials to return. The KSRTC and BMTC buses, which are rarely spotted on city roads, are crowded.

People are completely dependent on the Metro, private transport such as autorickshaws, Ola and Uber services to reach destinations. There are also reports that autos and cabs are misusing the situation and charging exorbitant fares from commuters.

"We thought there would be some effect of the Bandh yesterday, but saw a poor response and thought it would be the same today. In the morning, there were some buses plying on city roads, but all of a sudden, the BMTC has stopped its operations. I am not getting a bus to reach metro station and even the auto drivers are demanding 100-150 for a 3-km ride," said Kushala, a resident of Kengeri.

Most private educational institutions that had closed for two days have taken back their decision after the poor response to the bandh on day 1. Due to the lack of public transport, most college and school students could not make it to classes on time and others reached schools only to be told they were not open.

The Department of Public Instruction had entrusted DCs of individual districts the responsibility of deciding the closure of schools and colleges depending on the situation there. Even as educational institutes in Bengaluru shut on Tuesday, there was no official announcement of a closure on Wednesday.

While a few private schools had announced on Monday that they would remain shut for the next two days in the wake of the Bharat Bandh, a few others took a call to go by the government decision and left parents confused.

"Government must be the only authority permitted to take a decision on the functioning of schools. We were told on Monday that school would remain closed even on Wednesday. However, the DC announced otherwise on Tuesday. We are in a fix now," said Rakshith, a parent from Ullal.

Schools like National Public School sent text messages to parents that the school would remain shut on Wednesday also.

Meanwhile, a few private schools that remained open saw only a few students attend classes. In Whitefield, a few private schools asked school buses to return midway anticipating trouble.

"The government school students are the worst affected. They are heavily dependent on public transport. Even private schools must keep in mind the safety of children before taking a call on conducting classes. We asked individual school heads to review the situation and take a call," said Shashi Kumar, General Secretary, KAMS.

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Strike: Confusion as few schools, colleges open

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