Business as usual across coal hub

Bandh Monday received a lukewarm response in the coal capital and steel city Bokaro.

By Our Correspondent in Dhanbad
  • Published 11.09.18
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In solidarity: Former JMM minister Mathura Mahto being taken into custody at Randhir Verma Chowk in Dhanbad on Monday. (Gautam Dey) 

Dhanbad: Bandh Monday received a lukewarm response in the coal capital and steel city Bokaro.

All schools and colleges remained open, but attendance was moderate. Autos became the backbone of public transport while long-distance bus services were suspended from 9am to 3pm. Trains followed regular roster. Most shops and business establishments stayed open in urban areas.

Dhanbad SSP Manoj Ratan Chothe said 482 bandh supporters were taken into preventive custody. The maximum of 76 arrests took place in Jharia. In Bokaro, around 350 were arrested and later released.

General secretary of Dhanbad auto outfit Chotan Singh said only 1,500 out of 15,000 vehicles stayed off road, that too till 11am, after which the "situation was normal". In Bokaro, some autos didn't ply in suburbs like Lalpania, Tenughat, Bermo and Chandrapura.

Many parents anticipated violence, but there was none except for tyres being burnt to block roads at a few places across the Coal Belt.

Tantan Keshri, a resident of Jharia, admitted that he didn't send his son to school because bandhs were usually streaked with violence. "Rakesh is a Class II student of De Nobili School in Digwadih, which is 7km away. My wife and I didn't want to take a risk," he said.

Buses for Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Ramgarh and Patratu in Jharkhand, Asansol, Purulia, Durgapur and Calcutta in Bengal, and Aurangabad, Nalanda and Biharsharif in Bihar did not operate from Bartand depot in Dhanbad and Naya More in Bokaro.

Train services were almost normal in Dhanbad and Adra divisions, except for Hatia-Purnea Court Express that remained stranded near Gurpa in Bihar, 155km from Dhanbad.

President of Federation of Dhanbad Zilla Chamber of Commerce and Industries Rajesh Kumar Gupta said only big malls downed shutters.