Transport services, Metro largely unaffected by nationwide strike
Transport services in Delhi, including auto-rickshaws and cabs, remained largely unaffected by the one-day Bharat Bandh called by agitating farmers on Tuesday. The Delhi Transport Corporation buses, cluster buses and the Delhi Metro also operated as usual.
Despite several unions of autos, taxis and other public service vehicles announcing their support to the strike, the impact was minimal on the city roads.
On the Delhi Metro, entry and exit was shut only at one station -- Pandit Shree Ram Sharma station on the Green Line.
Ashita Singh, who used an Uber cab to reach her office in Nehru Place from Mayur Vihar Phase 1, said, “I did not face any surge pricing for my ride. The waiting time was also not more than usual.”
Lakhbir Kumar, an IT Professional, said he had opted to work from home owing to strike call, “Our office had asked everyone to work from home owing to the farmers protest and the nationwide strike call. In fact, many of my friends in other companies were also asked not to come to office. Many like me, apprehending disruptions, avoided travelling in general,” he said.
A senior Delhi transport official said buses were seen running below capacity as passengers were visibly fewer than usual.The ridership figures for Tuesday was yet to be compiled till this report was filed.
Auto and taxi unions which joined the one-day strike claimed that “thousands” of cabs, autos, Gramin Sewas, RTVs, and phat phat Sewa owners kept their vehicles off the roads on Tuesday between 11am and 3pm.
Kamaljeet Gill, president of Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi, which represents drivers working with cab aggregators, claimed most of its members were on strike. A few members of the striking auto, taxi unions held an ‘Akhand Paath’ at Bangla Sahib Gurdwara praying for the well-being of farmers and drivers, he said.
Rajender Soni, general secretary of the Delhi Auto Rickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union said all their autos and taxis operated normally and the strike had no impact at all.
“The auto and taxi services were normal even at the airport, bus stations and railway stations,” he said.
Due to closure of borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the city’s interstate bus terminals (ISBT) saw fewer buses. The Kashmere Gate ISBTs received only 68 buses from other states as against the usual of over 500 buses. The ISBT did not see a single bus from Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
The Anand Vihar ISBT received 448 buses on Tuesday, but they were all from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, senior government officials said.
All markets were also open in the capital, but traders said the footfall on Tuesday was quite low.
Ashwani Marwah, general secretary of the traders association of Lajpat Nagar, said, “We all kept our shops open today. But the crowd was less than half of what it was on Monday. With protests happening at the borders and in various parts of the city, people are not keen to step out.”
Sanjay Bhargava, president of Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar mandal, said, “The year started with ant-CAA protest, followed by riots and then Covid. It has been an extremely difficult year for businesses in the city. It was only in September that business had finally picked up, even in the face of several restrictions. But for the past week, the situation is back to square one.”