Life in Delhi and NCR might be partially affected because of the Bharat bandh on Thursday called by the BJP-led NDA and other political parties.
While public transport, including metros and buses will continue normal service, uncertainty hangs over the availability of taxis and auto-rickshaws.Bhartiya Auto Rickshaw Majdur Sangh (BARMS) will extend moral support to the bandh but it has decided not to force its members to stop running autos in Delhi, said Rajendra Soni, Delhi Pradesh president of BARMS. He, however, said that limited services will be ensured for hospital-bound commuters. But, Noida auto union has announced to shut services.
The transporters union in Noida has decided to run their business as usual. Vedpal Chaudhary, president of the transporters association, Noida, said: "Though we are against the Centre's move of hiking the prices of diesel and LPG gas cylinder, our services will remain on."
Millennium city's transport system too will be functioning, as no official orders have been passed regarding the strike. "If there is any disturbance on Thursday, we will spontaneously take a decision," said Yashender Singh, general manager of roadways, Haryana (Gurgaon).
Trading activities in the national capital and NCR towns will be completely shut down, claimed Praveen Khandelwal, national secretary general of the Confederation of All India Traders. Khandelwal said, "More than five lakh traders belonging to over 1000 traders' associations in Delhi and about five lakh in NCR cities will participate in the bandh."
But the nation-wide strike may impact parts of Old Gurgaon, said sources. Business installations in wholesale market areas such as Sadar Bazar may pull-down their shutters for a few hours to express symbolic support.
Academic activities in the region will also be partially affected as some private schools in NCR towns of Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon have decided to remain closed. However, most of the schools and colleges will operate normally.
"We would have declared a holiday on Thursday had there been a directive from the government," said Ameeta Wattal, vice-chairperson, National Progressive Schools Conference.
The capital city might face traffic jams in some parts on Thursday morning as BJP is scheduled to stage protests at Vikas Marg, Shahadra, Chandni Chowk and Rohini between 9am and 11 am.
The CAIT has also decided to protest at Jantar Mantar from 11.00 am to 1.30 pm, which would be attended by NDA convener Sharad Yadav, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI general secretary CPI AB Bardhan along with leaders of other political parties, he said. Delhi police will deploy additional forces to maintain law and order.