The Bharat bandh against price rise called separately by the BJP and the CPM and their regional allies gave Delhi a bad Monday morning.
It cost the city Rs 600 crore, according to an estimate by the Confederation of All India Traders. The government also lost Rs 65 crore.
<b1>Political activists, mostly of the BJP, blocked major traffic intersections in the Capital, forced markets and commercial centres to close down and vandalised public property. Over 4,300 activists including BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, D Raja of the CPI and NDA Convenor Sharad Yadav, were detained.
Traffic was blocked in large parts of the city. Shops downed shutters at Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk and elsewhere. Even the Metro was not spared. Protesters stopped trains from running at Rajiv Chowk and Patel Nagar Metro stations.
"Activists were blocking the road at various locations and deflating tyres of vehicles whose drivers tried to resist them,” said Shankar Rathi (35), a resident of Mayur Vihar.
Police said tyres of around 25 DTC buses were deflated.
With both roads and Metro services hit, office-goers had a harrowing time. “I decided to take the Metro so I could reach office in time. But it didn’t help,” said Radhika Singh (28), an MBA executive.
Police claimed nearly 77,000 officers were deployed on the roads to maintain law and order. “We ensured inconvenience to citizens was minimised,” said Rajan Bhagat, ACP, spokesperson, Delhi Police.
As flight operations in Kolkata and Mumbai were severely affected and flights to and from these metro cities to Delhi also suffered. More than 40 flights of private airlines to and from these cities were cancelled.