No effect of strike in Mumbai, most of Maha; transport normal

(EDS: Clubbing related stories) Mumbai, Jan 8 (PTI) The nationwide strike seems to have failed to evoke much response in Maharashtra till Wednesday afternoon with transport and banking services remaining largely unaffected in many districts as well as in the country's financial capital.

No untoward incident was reported so far from any region of the state.

Suburban trains, which are called as the 'lifeline of Mumbai' with a ridership of more than 75 lakh commuters per day, public buses, taxis and autorickshaws are running normally in the island city and suburbs.

Similarly, Metro and Monorail services are running smoothly, officials said, adding that BEST-operated bus services are also running as per schedule.

Private transport services like taxis and auto-rickshaws are also plying normally in Mumbai.

Film and TV shoots also remained unaffected.

The Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) said all its members were at work as usual and nothing was hampered because of the strike.

In Pune, transport services remained unaffected.

'Buses operated by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) are plying normally,' said Shankar Pawar, Director, PMPML.

Educational institutes and commercial establishments in the city remained opened as usual.

Trade union leader Ajit Abhyankar claimed that at least 15000 people affiliated to various Central trade unions, Bhartiya Kamgar Sena, posts, banks, and other government establishments participated in a public rally outside the district collectorate in Pune.

He said 70 per cent of factories and manufacturing units in Pimpri Chinchwad, Bhosari, Chakan and Ranjangaon MIDC around Pune remained closed.

'Whatever units that functioned today were largely due to contractual employees,' he said.

Federation of Chakan Industries (FCI) secretary Dileep Batwal said that 20 to 25 per cent of industries were affected in Chakan MIDC area due to the strike.

In Solapur in south-west Maharashtra, transport and other services remained largely unaffected.

A senior Solapur Police officer said the strike had no impact on the normal life in the city.

A district official said that attendance remained thin in various government offices in Solapur.

Narasayya Adam, a trade union leader from Solapur, said they conducted rasta-rokos in nine places in the city and at two places in rural areas.

In western Maharashtra's Kolhapur, transport and other services remained unaffected.

Farmer leader and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana president Raju Shetti led a protest on the Sangli-Kolhapur road on Wednesday afternoon.

'The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) has called for a 'Gramin Bharat Bandh' today. As a member of the committee, we held a protest with farmers here,' he said.

Shetti said farmers are against the Central government's policies related to agriculture as a whole. He also criticised the Maharashtra government's loan waiver scheme.

Trade unions INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC along with various sectoral independent federations and associations are participating in the strike for various demands. PTI KK JUR SPK ARU NSK NSK NSK