The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 20 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Transport, transaction teaser

Life in the city would be partially hit for two days from Wednesday because of the nationwide trade unions’ strike.

Banks would be shut, bringing transactions to a grinding halt. Commuters would have a tough time, as half the autorickshaws would be off streets. Inter-district buses would not ply either.

Fliers would be spared the hassle because flights would operate as usual. Taxi service would also be available at the airport.

Students of most of the private schools would not have to venture out on the bandh days. All missionary schools in the city would be closed. So would be the private schools across the state, said Shamael Ahmad, the president of Private Schools and Children Welfare Association.

“Considering the safety of the children, we decided to keep the institutions shut,” he said.

Patna Central School, Ishan International, Leeds Asian School and Radiant International School would be closed on both the days. Notre Dame Academy and Loyola High School have rescheduled their exams slated for February 21. But DAV, Khagaul, students would have to take their exams on the bandh days.

Principal D.K. Ghosh said: “The classes are suspended on both the bandh days in our institution but the exams will take place according to the schedule.”

Government schools and colleges would also function. Students of these institutions would have to bank on the city bus service for attending classes on Wednesday and Thursday because Bihar State Auto Drivers’ Association leaders claimed that none of the auto drivers owing allegiance to it would ply their vehicles.

“Around 1,000 autorickshaws are associated with our union. They would not run on Wednesday and Thursday because we have extended support to the strike,” said Raj Kumar Jha, the general secretary of the association.

Auto Men’s Union, Bihar, would tacitly support the strike. Drivers associated with it would ply their vehicles sporting black badges, said Ajay Kumar Patel, the general secretary of the union.

Bus operators in the city claimed that they would not suspend the operations.

“As of now, we are firm on running our buses. But the ring route buses are often targeted by protesters. We might have to withdraw services if the situation turns ugly,” said Kunal Sharma, the chief operations officer of Eden Transport Private Limited.

Over 300 city service minibuses are also likely to operate as scheduled. “Though we are morally supporting the strike, our buses will ply in the city. If the protest intensifies, operations might be suspended for a few hours in the afternoon,” said Umesh Sinha, the general secretary of Nagar Seva Minibus Owners’ Association.

While transport might not be a huge hassle, financial transactions would be on the bandh days. All banks in the city would remain closed.

Kumar Arvind, the general secretary of All India Bank Officers’ Association’s Bihar state committee, said: “Nearly 45,000 officers would be on strike on Wednesday and Thursday.”

Ram Lala Singh, the deputy general secretary of Bihar Provincial Bank Employees’ Association, cautioned that ATMs would function till the cash lasts.