Mixed response for bandh in DK

Mixed response for bandh in DK

KSRTC, private buses remain off road

The two-day all India strike called by 11 major trade unions opposing the policy decisions and failure of the Central government to control price hike, evoked mixed response in Dakshina Kannada on the first day.

The strike mainly crippled the public transport system, as the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) employees and private bus employees supported the strike, keeping the buses off road till evening. Bandh was peaceful, with no untowards incidents occurring in any part of the district.

With the public sector banks too supporting the strike, the bank services too were hit. BSNL, post offices too did not function, supporting the bandh. Most of the shops too were closed down in Mangalore city, while the response of shop keepers in other parts of the district was lukewarm, with most of the shops remaining open for customers.

Due to the cancellation of bus services, the normal life was disrupted. Though the Department of Public Instructions and the university did not declare holiday for schools and colleges,  most of the schools and colleges were closed down to avoid inconvenience caused to students due to lack of bus service.

The semesters exams for the post graduate students which was supposed to be held on Wednesday, were postponed. However, some of the government educational institutions functioned, with poor attendance of students.   

Though the buses including KSRTC and private remained off the road, taxis and autorickshaws were seen plying on road to meet the emergency needs. Passengers arriving at the railway stations in Mangalore had to rely on the autos that were lined up in queue in a small number.

As expected, the rickshaw drivers were charging double the amount to reach the passengers to their destinations. Malls, cinema theatres and hotels were open despite the strike, much to the relief of youngsters.

Total in Subramanya

The bandh was total in Subramanya region, affecting the normal life. The life was disrupted due to the lack of transportation facility as the buses did not ply. Strike did not affect the devotees who visited the temple, as most of the devotees who had clue about the strike, had vacated Subramanya by Tuesday night. Primary schools functioned as usual, while high schools and colleges were closed down. Tight police security was in place in bus stand and other places.

Protest

A protest was staged by the members of different trade unions, under the banner of United Forum of Bank Union-district unit, in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office on Wednesday. Addressing the protesters, CPI(M) District Secretary B Madhava lashed at the Central government for failing to control the price hike. “The drastic price hike in the last few years, has severly affected common man’s life. Has the government which claims that the two-day strike would incur Rs 20,000 crore loss to the nation, ever thought about the plight of common people who earn peanuts and lead lives amidst the increased price of all commodities,” he asked.

Criticising the government move to allow foreign direct investment, he said it would affect four crore population who are dependent on retailing. Petrol price has been hiked 17 times after the UPA came to power and now the diesel price too has been hiked by Rs 12, adding to the problem. The labour class has protested 15 times after the UPA came to power, yet the government has not responded positively to the people’s problems, he complained.

Contract workers from Mangalore Airport Employees’ Association, members from HMS, All India Bankers’s Association, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, DYFI and others participated in the protest.

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