MSRTC services closed, citizens face inconvenience
Nashik: The bandh called by Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and 21 other political parties including Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) across the country to attract the union andstate government’s attention towards the inflation, hike in fuel prices and other issues on Monday was observed peacefully in Nashik.
Launching an attack on the NDA government, Congress, NCP, MNS and as many as 21 political parties in the opposition had called for Bharat Bandh on Monday over the rising fuel prices. The opposition has rolled up its sleeves to corner the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led NDA government. The bandh was observed peacefully in Nashik city and district. The fact that 90 percent business establishments and shops in the city remained closed also helped the authorities to maintain peace.
Adding to the woes of people, some petrol pumps, cinema halls and ATMs also remained closed on Monday. The Congress activists gathered Shalimar Chowk in the city carried out a massive procession. Apart from that, various organisations organised rallies and requested shopkeepers to shut their shops. The call for the Bharat bandh came after the unprecedented rise in fuel prices and the failure of the union government to control the same.
In order to corner the BJP government and to attract the government’s attention towards their demand the Congress had called for the nation-wide.
Multiple parties including SP, BSP, TMC, DMK and RJD, as well as several chambers of commerce and traders’ bodies, have backed the Bharat bandh call. Five Left Front parties have given a separate call for bandh over the hike in fuel prices, the problem of farmers and unemployment issues. Interestingly, the MNS had also extended support to the nation-wide bandh in Maharashtra.
Accordingly, the bandh was observed across the Nashik district peacefully, however, some miscreants burned tyres in Bhagur area while there were incidents of stone pelting in Nashik Road area as well. On Wednesday morning, activists gathered in the main city, Nashik Road, Cidco, Satpur, Bhagur, Deolali Camp and Panchavati areas, shouted slogans and made an appeal to close the shops. Meanwhile, there were reports about activist’s pelted stones at a MSRTC bus in Lasagaon.
In the mean time, a strict bandh was observed in Nashik Road, Bhagur, Deolali Camp, Satpur, Panchavati, Shalimar, Main Road, CBS areas and the police closed Shalimar to CBS Road by installing barricades. The bandh received a mixed response in Satpur industrial area. Police detained some youths from Upnagar area.
All the buses of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) remained parked in the depots. Meanwhile, adequate police bandobast was maintained in the city by the police. Presence of police on roads and main areas of the city was noticeable. Jawans of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) were also deployed.
Low attendance in schools, government offices
As the School Education department had not given any prior instruction, most of the schools in the city were open on Monday. However, owing to the bandh, a majority of the parents did not send their children to schools on Monday. Some schools were opened for the morning sessions, whereas others had announced a holiday.
As there was a minimal presence of students in most of the schools, those students who turned up at the school were allowed to return home after a while. Many schools declared a holiday for the afternoon session. Overall, there was calm on the school premises throughout the day on Monday. Similarly, due to the bandh, the number of visitors to the government offices was less on Monday. The presence of employees in these offices was also affected due to the bandh. As there were fewer autorickshaws plying on the roads and there were no buses, people faced problems in reaching their destinations. The presence of private vehicles was less on city roads. People preferred not to venture out of their homes.
Milk supply normal
The bandh did not have any effect on the sale of milk on Monday morning. Though the sale of milk was regular, in some parts, shops selling milk-based food items did not open and sale of these food items were affected.
As some vehicles transporting milk did not reach their destination, there was a deficiency of around 15,000-20,000 litres of milk. But as people did not go to the milk centres to purchase milk, this shortage did not affect the supply of milk. However, due to agitations at various places during the afternoon session, arrival of milk in the evening decreased. It created a shortage of milk in the evening but the prices were stable. Cow milk was sold in the range Rs 40-45 per litre whereas buffalo milk was sold at Rs 52-56 per litre. Though the arrival of milk was affected, the prices did not increase as there are expectations that the arrival of milk will increase in the market on Thursday, milk sellers informed.
MSRTC bus services closed
Anticipating violence and in a bid to avoid losses the MSRTC had closed all services on Monday, including city buses as well as the long distance bus services. Normally, the city buses undertake about 1669 trips across the city from Nimani bus stand. But since this morning, the city bus service had also come to a standstill. At the same time, the bus services for long distances had also been stopped.