The city would come to a standstill on Thursday because of the NDA and the Left parties’ strike in protest against the diesel price hike, cooking gas cylinder cap and foreign direct investment in retail, resulting into loss of man-day of almost a million.
Buses won’t ply. Autorickshaws would be off streets. Trains might not move. Schools would be closed. Some institutions have even decided to reschedule the exams. Most offices — government or private — would register sparse attendance.
Vegetable vendors would have an off day because the markets would be closed. Vendors would not get any customer, as hardly anybody would venture out.
The work in every sector would be hit, leading to almost a millions’ loss of man-day — an industrial unit of production equal to the work one person can produce in a day. The city has a population of around 1.8 million.
The mass loss would not guarantee the rollback of the Centre’s decisions aimed at economic reforms, though.
Commuting during the dawn-to-dusk strike would be a Herculean task in the absence of public transport.
Uday Shankar Singh, the president of the Bihar Motors Transport Federation, said all the inter-district, inter-state and city buses would be off roads during the strike. “The trucks would not ply either,” Singh added.
Rajkumar Jha, the general secretary of the Bihar State Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Association and Patna District Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Association, said not a single three-wheeler would ply in the city during the shutdown.
“If anyone needs autorickshaws for emergency services, the drivers have been told to help,” Jha said.
Travelling on trains would also be risky. Bandh supporters have made their intentions clear that they would disrupt the railway services.
“We will be at Patna Junction at 5.30 in the morning to stop movement of trains,” said BJP MLA Nitin Navin, adding that he and his supporters would move across the city to enforce the bandh.
JD(U) MLA Punam Devi echoed Navin and said her supporters would hit the streets right from the morning. “We will appeal everybody to support the bandh in a peaceful manner.”
Police claimed to have made necessary arrangements to avert any untoward incident during the shutdown.
“All the police stations of the state capital have been asked to stay on alert. The police teams, along with the station house officers, have been asked to constantly patrol their areas. Police personnel would be deployed at important areas like R-Block and Dakbungalow Chowk,” Patna senior superintendent of police Amrit Raj told The Telegraph.
Dakbungalow roundabout is considered the epicentre of bandh activists. Several of them are expected to assemble there on Thursday after 11am.
State NDA convener and road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav said: “Emergency services have been exempted from the bandh.”
Milk will be delivered. Medical stores will be open. Ambulances will ply. Hospital will treat patients, provided the ailing persons manage to reach the health hub dodging the strike supporters.