PUNE: Pune saw itself getting totally shut almost with the hitting commuters, especially those having landed at the Pune airport, hard on Thursday.
The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) officials said that only half the number of buses were plying on Thursday. “The agitators damaged a bus at Swargate while three buses were damaged at Bibewadi. Presently, we are operating around 600 buses, which is less than even half of buses which ply on normal days,” an official said.
At the Pune airport, several passengers saw themselves getting stuck. Passengers complained about massive fleecing on part of some cabbies as the Ola and Uber services were minimal. Some drivers were found charging about Rs 1200 to go to Aundh-Baner from airport. They are part of app-cabs, but have are not using them. A man was asked to pay up Rs 2000 to be dropped at Magarpatta, as a form of “insurance” against any damages. The people found themselves stuck at the airport for over two-three hours before finding any transport.
Representatives of airlines said that in order to avoid hassles, some passengers had arrived on Wednesday late evening for their Thursday flights.
The activists blocked the Katraj-Dehu-Road by at Chandni Chowk. Towards noon, protesters gathered at district collectorate. Slogans are being staged in support of Maratha reservation. Police have blocked road traffic as of now in the area. Protesters are sitting on the road.
The local trains from Pune saw very thin crowd and the ST bus stands wore a deserted look too with no buses plying from Pune. Even the private luxury buses to different places from Pune didn‘t ply with authorities stating that they had not booked any tickets for Thursday in the wake of the bandh.
The agitators were seen moving on bikes in small groups raising slogans and forcing shops to shut down in many areas.
A small group of 20-odd protesters performed bhajans as a mark of protest in a temple near Chakan police station. No untoward incident reported from anywhere in Chakan yet. Traffic on Pune-Nashik highway at Chakan was running smoothly but, very few vehicles were seen. Industrial goods carriers remained off the road.
Essential services including healthcare, pharmacy and ambulance transport were unaffected until now. Stand-alone clinics, retail and wholesale medical strores are dispensing services as usual. The inflow of people availing these services is low as many preferred to remain within the confines of their residences and housing societies. Only patients of chronic and seasonal illnesses are venturing out to seek medical care.
There was complete bandh in Hinjewadi village which is home to Rajiv Gandhi IT park. All shops and offices are closed in the village except those of essential services like medical shops, clinics and hospitals.
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