Streets show no bandh effect on Day 1
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The first day of the two-day bandh called by central trade unions had no visible effect on Pune streets. Barring nationalised banks, government offices and hospitals, everything went on as usual. Most of the nationalised banks remained shut, and there was sparse attendance at government offices and hospitals.
Shops and public transport remained unaffected. Autorickshaws ran until afternoon and as announced on Tuesday kept off the roads only for four hours, as a token support for the strike.
Advocate Vishal Jadhav, office bearer of CITU, however, claimed the strike was a "90 per cent success" with employees of majority of the banks, industrial estates, and post offices going on strike.
Malls, multiplexes, shops, markets and other commercial establishments were open, with people conducting business as usual. Sourabh Kumar, a software professional from Kharadi, stated it was a usual day for him and he had no inkling of any bandh. "Vehicles were running and I did not know if any bandh was called," he said.
Laxmi Road, Marketyard and other commercial hubs were open although a few shops were shut. Buses of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) ran as usual. Vijaykumar Diwate, depot manager of the State Transport (ST)' Swargate Depot claimed the bandh had no effect on services of the transport body. "However, the commuter crowd was thin as many people thought the bandh would have a crippling effect on the city," he said.
Employees of nationalised banks assembled in large numbers before Lok Mangal, Bank of Maharashtra, as announced earlier. Members of the banking employees union said there was 100 per cent response to the bandh call and all employees stayed away from work. "We had nine bank unions participating,'' said Prakash Deshpande of a union. Similar was the response from government employees. O Pacharne of an employee association said all class-III and class-IV employees stayed away from work.
Staff unions of banks, insurance firms, post offices, railways, MSEB and the telephone department, besides industrial workers and workers from the unorganised sector participated, said Deshpande.
While PMPML and railway services remained unaffected, autorickshaws kept off roads between 1pm and 5pm and rickshaw union members assembled before the district collectorate. "We are supporting the bandh. We are keeping off the roads only for four hours as we do not want to affect children who use rickshaws. We would not have any demonstration on day two,'' said Baba Adhav.
While 1,000 nurses under the Maharashtra State Nurses Federation joined the stir, several chemists also downed shutters in various parts of the state in support of the bandh.
Government-run hospitals like Sassoon general hospital, Regional mental hospital at Yerawada, Aundh general hospital and Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) hospital had to make alternative arrangements to ensure patient care was not hampered.
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