Bandh paralyses transport sector, Metro ridership below par

Bandh paralyses transport sector, Metro ridership below par

Bandh paralyses transport sector, Metro ridership below par

The usually chaotic Majestic, or Kempegowda, bus station wore a deserted look on Thursday due to the statewide shutdown on the Mahadayi water dispute.

Though KSRTC and BMTC said their operations will continue as usual, they called off their bus services as a precautionary measure. Buses stood empty and desolate at the depots, while the traffic-choked roads around the bus terminus and the railway station wore a ghostly look.

Those who arrived in the city by train were dismayed to see the inoperative buses at 6 am. Their disappointment turned into frustration as they found the pre-paid auto and taxi stands empty.

A few autorickshaws and app-based aggregators provided relief to stranded passengers, but agitators forced some of them to stop.

"I had no knowledge of the bandh and landed from Tirupati by train this morning," said Prahlad Rao, residing in Sunkadakatte. "I'm not getting any transport to go home. Even Ola and Uber services are being forced to stop. I'll have to wait for the bus services to resume."

Starting its services by 4 pm, the BMTC could only operate 1,620 buses of 2,800. Of the 4,227 scheduled KSRTC bus departures in 15 divisions, only 413 were departing at 1 pm. The inter-state bus services attained a semblance of normalcy at 5 pm, with 2,892 departures.

KSRTC incurred a loss of Rs 3.98 crore. While the Ramanagaram division recorded the highest loss of Rs 42.20 lakh, the Bengaluru Central division lost Rs 26.76 lakh.

At the Kempegowda International Airport, taxis operated regularly, though the Vayu Vajra bus services were halted.

Metro rail services were available throughout the day, though stations had kept one entrance open or had kept them half shut to prevent vandals. BMRCL PRO Vasanth Rao said protesters began converging on the Majestic station, but police intervened in time.

BMRCL altered its frequency to suit the requirement. Ridership was at least one-third lower, at 20,387 during the 5 am-9 am period. The average Metro ridership from January 1 to 24 in the same period was 60,635, including on Sundays, and 66,744, barring Sundays.