Friday, September 30, 2005

TU strike: 17 city buses damaged, autos keep off roads

TU strike: 17 city buses damaged, autos keep off roads
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Barring stray incidents of stone throwing by members of autorickshaw unions who damaged 17 city buses, Thursday's strike called by trade unions had little impact on normal life in Bangalore.

Around 15 persons were arrested on charges of rioting in different areas of the city. Two autorickhaw drivers, who had pelted stones on buses in the morning, were chased and nabbed by the public and handed over to Kamakshipalya police.

In Basaveshwaranagar, police detained a youth who had attempted to deflate the tyre of an autorickshaw.

At the Multi-Storeyed building, Cubbon Park police arrested two government employees for obstructing other employees from entering the premises.

Incidents of stone pelting were reported from K R Puram, Jnanabharathi, Sultanpalya, Sujatha theatre and other places.

According to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), it incurred a loss of Rs 2.10 lakh for the day.

The cost of damages due to stone throwing was Rs 1.70 lakh and revenue loss due to non-operation of some routes was Rs 40,000.

Many schools in the city were closed as a precautionary measure as their students travel in autorickshaws.

While normal life was not affected, commercial activity involving government employees came to a grinding halt with banks, post offices and insurance offices being closed.

As a result, ATM facilities owned by public sector banks were crowded around lunch time.

Central government offices, banks, post offices, insurance and defence units with civilian employees were shut following the all India strike call.

The coordination committee of central government employees and workers in Karnataka called it a grand success.

The All India bank Officers' Confederation said officers of all banks in public, private, cooperative and RRB sectors observed a day's protest opposing the government's privatisation spree in the garb of economic reforms.

According to an All India Trade Union Congress release workers in Jigani, Tumkur road, Bommasandra, Peenya and other parts of the city participated in protests to draw attention to the centre's anti-labour laws.

However, the much feared day began with a continuous drizzle throwing protest plans into disarray.

By noon, when the rains stopped, autorickshaw drivers were in action pelting stones. Attendance was thin at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Bangalore main and Design complexes as 10,000 employees struck work.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) units spread across the city too were shut.

All trains in the Bangalore division were running on time and reservation offices functioned as normal.

However, reservation centres witnessed a 40 per cent drop in the number of visitors, railway sources said.

As for air services, while air traffic controllers belonging to Airports Authority of India kept away in some cities, Bangalore Airport functioned normally as HAL operates the ATC here.

Except cancelling all Kolkata flights, airlines operated their normal schedules.

Kingfisher Airlines and Indian Airlines (IA) clubbed their Mumbai flights, but sources said it was more due to the low seat factors.

All Air India flights operated as per schedule, a release said. An IA source said except Kolkata all flights were operated.


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