Harrowing time for passengers, office goers due to bandh

Bhubaneswar/Paradip: The dawn-to-dusk bandh called by the State Congress today caused a lot of hardships to bus and rail passengers, especially women and children in the State.

At the Baramunda bus stand in Bhubaneswar, more than a hundred people were had a harrowing time as buses remained stationery at the bus stand all day due to the bandh. Some were seen reclining on the cement chairs at the bus stand while others were unsure when they will leave for their destination.

A passenger waiting for his bus said, “I am unlucky to have met this situation. My bus was at 5 am, but I am unsure when it will leave for the destination. If it doesn’t, I will have to go by train.”

Narrating the inconvenience faced by him, another bus passenger said, “We have not eaten since yesterday as I reached Bhubaneswar late in the night yesterday. Adding to my woes, trains were cancelled and hotels were closed due to the bandh. We are in serious trouble.”

Rail passengers were seen crowding the Bhubaneswar railway station as trains were either cancelled or halted at various stations on different routes in the State. People were unable to go back home as city bus and auto services were stopped due to the bandh.

A rail passenger at Bhubaneswar station said, “No transport services are available in the city due to the strike. Autos are demanding Rs 500 when the fare should be Rs 70-80 or at the most Rs 100.”

Jugnoo, the app-based auto service, sought to cash in on the bandh through surge pricing, raising its fares three-fold.

A woman Haj yatri at the Cuttack railway station said, “Due to the bandh, people are suffering; children are the worst hit.”

Twenty one express and four passenger trains were affected in the State whereas four passenger trains were cancelled due to the bandh.

Many office goers in the Capital city had to walk to their workplace as public transport, including autos, were not available.

Sulochana Suara, who works at the State Secretariat, said, “I came to the office walking as no bus and auto services are available.”

The city’s poor bore the brunt of the bandh as the nine Aahar centres in Bhubaneswar were shut due to the bandh.

On the other hand, hundreds of trucks laden with essential commodities lined up on the National Highway near Palasuni on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar due to the strike.

Not a single dumper truck was allowed to enter the Paradip Port due to the bandh affecting loading and unloading of commodities.