Monday, July 05, 2010

Get set for a shutdown today

Get set for a shutdown today

Police fan out across Bangalore as miscreants stone a BMTC bus late on Sunday night in Malleswaram

Team DNA. Bangalore

Monday's dawn-to-dusk Bharat Bandh call given by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and separately, also by the Left parties, will, by all indications, force civic life in the city to come to a halt. Electronics City is all set to shut its byte basket for a day.
Prakash Rao, CEO of the Electronics City Industries Association (ELSIA) said, "Most of the companies will not be working. Wipro and Infosys are among those that have decided to shut down on Monday in the wake of the all-India bandh. Of the 158 members of ELSIA, 60% of the companies will remain closed."
However, ELSIA has sought the support of the city's police force: "We have written to the police commissioner. We have also asked the state government to secure us from any trouble. The decision to not work on Monday was taken only on Saturday afternoon," Prakash Rao said.
Most transnational companies in the IT-BPO sector will make arrangements to get around the bandh. They have asked employees to clock in before 6 am; those doing critical jobs have been instructed to stay back on Monday night. Special arrangements are being made to pick up and drop employees by skirting the dawn-to-dust timing. Sources said that employees will be ferried before 6 am on Monday.
The fact that the nation-wide bandh call by the main opposition party at the Centre, the BJP, to protest the latest dose hikes in prices of fuel and gas has the support of the Left parties gives it that special sting. Given that the state is ruled by the BJP, the bandh in the state is expected to be total.
While most educational institutions and businesses have closed for 'tactical' reasons, fearing violence rather than as an expression of support for the bandh call, the private transport sector, including autorickshaw unions, have declared that they will stay off the roads. The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, fearing damage to vehicles, has suspended the airport Volvo bus services. However, ordinary buses will be put to service on Monday.
Meanwhile, there is no doubt that the bandh call has great prospects of evoking a good response in the state. Chief minister BS Yeddyurappa was on record, saying he expected the bandh to be a great success. But by its very nature, the government cannot openly declare support for a bandh. "The government has not declared a holiday for schools and colleges. Officers of the education department at the local level will take a decision," an official in the education department said.
Foreshadowing things to come, miscreants threw stones at a BMTC bus near 18th Cross, Malleswaram late on Sunday night. Police commissioner Shankar Bidari said that the city police, all 16,000 of who have been instructed to report for work on Monday, will find their strength augmented by 30 Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) platoons.


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