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Bandh to affect trade and transportation

punjab Updated: Mar 27, 2012 22:57 IST
Deepak Beri
Deepak Beri
Hindustan Times
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Transportation and trade in the area will be affected by the bandh call given by various Sikh organisations for Wednesday, in protest against the death sentence to Balwant Singh Rajoana, the assassin of former chief minister Beant Singh.

Trade organisations have decided to cease trade on Wednesday, while 400 mini-buses will go off the road.

"Traders are in a state of fear, so shops will remain closed on Wednesday and no trade activity is expected," said Sunil Mehra, general secretary, Punjab Pardesh Vyopar Mandal.

A trader on condition of anonymity said both government and opposition had no clear stand on issue of the bandh, so traders could not afford to take any sort of financial risk and therefore, would keep their shutters down. As for public transport, there will be no mini-buses on the roads on Wednesday.

"We have nearly 400 mini-buses in the district and our services will remain closed. Each one of us has to bear a loss of Rs 1,000 per bus for a single day," said Jaswinder Singh, president, Ludhiana Mini-Bus Owners' Association.

The main routes of mini-buses in the district are Ludhiana-Rara Sahib, Ludhiana-Pakhowal, Ludhiana-Kohara, Ludhiana -Sahnewal, Ludhiana-Humbran and Ludhiana-Phillaur.

But as far as the main buses are concerned they have not yet made their stand clear. Harinder Sharma, honorary member, Small Scale Bus Operators Association, said, "Since most of our bus services start after 9am, we will first monitor the services of PRTC and other big private operators, and decide after assessing the situation."

A representative of Punjab Motor Union on condition of anonymity said, "Nobody wants to take a risk, as we all are businessmen. So, our bus service will depend on individual operators' decisions, as no decision has yet been made at the union level."

As for Ludhiana bus stand, the officials have not yet received any directions from senior officials. They have taken precautionary measures and written to the police to maintain security.

"We have not received any specific directions from officials but I have written to the police for providing security at the bus stand," said Navraj Singh, station supervisor, Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Interstate Bus Terminus.

Truck operators have also decided to suspend services on Wednesday, "Trucks services will remain closed on Wednesday. I believe the bandh will have considerable effect," Charan Singh Lohara, president, North India Road Transport Association.