Commuters had tough time on Wednesday as most auto-rickshaws and taxis remained off the road in the Capital in support of the two-day nationwide strike called by trade unions.
Auto-rickshaw unions said they would remain on strike on Thursday as well. They threatened to go on an indefinite strike from March 1 if their demands were not met.Though DTC and private cluster buses were out in strength, incidents of window panes being broken and tyres being deflated in the morning affected their movement in the morning. The working of nationalised banks, income tax department and nationalised insurance companies was also affected in the Capital. Petrol dealers, however, said they got regular supply from the depots of the three petroleum companies and there was no shortage of fuel.
“The strike did not have any impact on the supply of fuel from depots. There will be no dry-out at petrol pumps even on Thursday,” Delhi Petrol Dealers Association vice president Nishit Goel said.
Those who travel by auto-rickshaws had a tough time as there were very few three-wheelers on road. Office-goers complained there was a heavy rush in buses and the Metro both in the morning and evening. “It took me more than 45 minutes to enter the INA metro station,” said Deepak Gupta and central government employee.
“A total of 5,117 DTC buses plied against an average of about 5,000 buses in the morning. There were an additional 3,094 buses, including 1,870 mini buses, 283 Metro feeder buses etc. There were 440 cluster buses on 31 routes,” Delhi Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami said.
The DTC had cancelled the leaves of all its employees and had deployed senior officers to ensure public transport was not affected. Delhi Metro officials said additional staff was deployed Wednesday to manage the unusually large crowds.
“Extra trains on each line were on standby. This, morning on Line 2 (Huda City Centre to Jahangirpuri), we had made two extra trips,” a Delhi Metro official said.