Metro does a half day during shutdown

Metro does a half day during shutdown

Taxi drivers fleece airport passengers; many stranded at rail, bus stations

Metro does a half day during shutdown

The ‘Karnataka bandh’called by pro-Kannada organisations against the release of Cauvery water disrupted normal life in the City on Saturday.

Effigies were burnt at junctions across the City with protesters raising slogans against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha. Some blocked the roads, while others ensured that the vehicles which were plying, returned to their places of origin.

At the Bengaluru International Airport, passengers arriving from across the country and abroad found themselves with no mode of transportation.

“The BMTC bus service and airport taxi services are not available due to social unrest” was the board that greeted the passengers exiting from the airport.

While most found space at coffee shops and food courts on the airport premises, few decided to take the taxis, which were sparse.

The minimum fare being charged by the taxis was Rs 1,000 for any distance into the City.
“While on the one hand you (taxi drivers) have joined the protest, on the other you are fleecing citizens by charging them hefty sums,” fumed an agitated Ramapriya, 73, who was charged Rs 2,000 to get to Adugodi.

However, some taxi drivers were unwilling to take the ‘risk’ of plying to the Majestic area.
At the railway station, trains travelling through Mandya were completely cancelled and this forced many people like Suresh of Vijayanagar to go to the bus stand for a futile wait.

“My wife has just delivered a baby and I wanted to travel to Mysore to see the mother and child. I took a drop to the railway station in the afternoon and came to the bus stand after all the trains were cancelled. Now I am stuck here, as I cannot even go back home,” he said.

In another instance, several families of workers from Andhra Pradesh were waiting since 6 am, for a bus to take them to Bannerghatta Road. None of them were even aware of the bandh.

The only exception, till afternoon, was the successful running of the Namma Metro service. However, the services were suspended after the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike activists staged a protest at the MG Road station bringing the services to a halt by 1 pm.

More than 100 protesters attempted to enter the Metro station, only to be deterred by the police.

About 65 protesters were taken into preventive custody and later released.  As a precautionary measure, the Metro services were suspended between 1 pm and 6 pm.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited, in a statement after lunch hour, said: “Today the Metro train services were running normally up to 1 pm. However, there were very few passengers in the train. The train services are stopped from 1 pm to 6 pm for operational reasons.”

People started coming out of their houses by 5 pm, but most shops did not open even after 6 pm.

However, traffic on the roads after 6.30 pm.

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