Maharashtra bandh: Thane commuters have hard time reaching office
Thane commuters faced difficulties finding transportation to work with the Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) buses staying off the road and auto rickshaws overcharging on Monday morning due to the Maharashtra bandh called by the ruling parties to protest against the Lakhimpur Kheri incident in Uttar Pradesh where eight people including four farmers were killed on October 3.
With shops remaining shut and not even a single TMT bus operating from the Thane station, the shutdown call received a good response in Thane,however, it meant that daily commuters had a nightmare reaching their workplace in areas like Wagale Estate, Ghodbunder, Majowada, Vartak Nagar, Pachpakhadi and Kolshet among others.
“I take a bus to Ghodbunder as an auto rickshaw ride costs over ₹100 and is not affordable for everyday commute. Since there were no buses available on Monday morning, I reached the auto rickshaw stand, which was full of commuters with very few auto rickshaws present; those operating were charging several times the usual fare. We waited for a long time before finding an auto,” said Sandeep Sherkhane, an officer goer.
Commuters like him said public transport should be kept out of the purview of shutdowns that are political in nature.
Barring a few small traders who didn’t participate in the shutdown citing loss of business suffered due to coronavirus induced lockdown, others stayed close. Over 90% auto rickshaws too went off the roads after Shiv Sena party workers forced them to do so.
Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) workers staged a huge rally in Thane city and it was attended by both Thane mayor Naresh Mhaske and NCP city chief Anand Paranjpe, who asked the traders to shut shop for the day.