Bharat Bandh Set to Hit Services in Bengaluru Today; Schools, Colleges to Remain Shut

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Bengaluru: Office-goers and students could face a harrowing time on the first working day of the week as many services will be unavailable in the wake of nationwide bandh called by the All India Congress Committee on Monday.

The Bharat bandh has been called to protest against 'price rise', 'fall' of rupee against the dollar and other issues that 'affect' the people across the country.

Schools and colleges across Bengaluru will remain shut as transport services may be affected between 9am and 3pm. These schools will have full-day classes on Saturday (September 15) to compensate for the closure on Monday. Exams scheduled for September 10 are likely to be postponed due to the shutdown.

"Private schools will not participate in the bandh in the interest of students. We have communicated to heads of educational institutions that they can use their discretionary powers to decide on giving a holiday. Schools can declare a holiday provided they conduct classes on Saturday," TOI quoted Shashi Kumar D, secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, as saying.

The state buses will also remain off roads as the KSRTC Staff and Workers Association have offered to support the bandh, therefore, services by all state-run transport corporations – BMTC, KSRTC, NWKRTC, NEKRTC - will be hit. The association is backed by the All-India Trade Union Congress.

There may also be shortage of taxis as some drivers have also decided to support the bandh. The taxi drivers are divided over the shutdown call. A News Minute report quoted Tanveer Pasha, President of the Ola TaxiForSure and Uber Drivers' Association, as saying that taxi drivers will support the drive but his call is not supported by all taxi associations.

"Increase in fuel prices has had a huge impact on the transport industry. But we can't take a sudden decision without consulting all associations and MNC vendors," K Radhakrishna Holla, president, Bangalore Tourist Taxi Operators’ Association told TOI.

Meanwhile, auto unions are yet to take a decision on the strike. Commuters are advised to avail metro services on Monday as the trains will remain unaffected.

A procession has also been planned from Hampankatta Circle to the District Commissioner's Office. "Bus and autorickshaw workers’, drivers’ and owners’ associations, maxi cab owners’ and drivers’ associations, Forum For Justice, beedi workers’ associations and various labour unions have supported the bandh", Congress leader Ivan D'Souza told The Hindu.

"Our objective is not to trouble people or torment them, this bandh should be spontaneous. We are living in the most difficult times," Congress state unit of the party Dinesh Gundu Rao said, adding the bandh will convey people's 'anger and hardship' arising out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policies in the hope that he implements plans that benefit the masses.

JD(S), which runs a coalition government with the Congress, has also extended support to the bandh.