Karnataka Transport Union Calls For Day-Long Bandh Across Bengaluru, Police Beefs Up Security

Lakhs of private vehicles including autos, taxis and corporate buses are expected to stay off the road on Monday due to the bandh by the Federation of the Karnataka State Private Transport Associations.

Bandh called by the Federation of the Karnataka State Private Transport Associations in Bengaluru. (representative image)

Security has been beefed up across the city in view of a day-long 'bandh' called by the Federation of the Karnataka State Private Transport Associations on Monday to press for their various demands with the police warning strict action against those indulging in any kind of mischief.

Owing to bandh, lakhs of private vehicles including autos, taxis, maxi cabs, goods vehicles and corporate buses would stay off the roads, officials of the Federation said.

 The Federation comprises a total of 32 private transport associations, and most of the private transport services are unlikely to be available till Monday midnight. 

As private maxi cabs are one of the main modes of transport for several school children, some schools in the city have declared a holiday today to avoid inconvenience to students, official sources said.

Those commuting to the airport would need to find alternative means as well. 

The Bengaluru Airport Authority has also advised passengers to make necessary arrangements to reach the airport on time in view of bandh.

The Federation has called for bandh seeking a ban on bike taxis, and urging the government to extend the Shakti scheme -- that offers free bus rides to women on state-run transport buses  -- to private buses as well, among other demands.

The private transporters have claimed that they have been negatively impacted by the Shakti scheme and that the state government has not fulfilled their demands despite repeated discussions.

Speaking to PTI, Bengaluru Police Commissioner B Dayananda said that adequate security arrangements have been made across the city as a precautionary measure to tackle any untoward incident.

"All our officials including senior officers are on patrolling and we have also used sufficient number of tracking forces at all the strategic locations. We have also spoken to the associations who are participating in the strike. They would be assembling at Freedom Park where the protest will be held," he said.

"Whoever wants to stay away from the road can stay off but they cannot force anybody to stay off the road. We have given  instructions and if anyone indulges in any kind of mischief, we will take strong action," he added.

The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will run more bus trips and services in the city and also to Kempegowda International Airport today to mitigate the inconvenience caused to the public by the bandh.

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy had recently said that the government was open to talks with the federation and is also making preparations to ensure that the inconvenience to the public is minimised.

Meanwhile, the Bengaluru Traffic Police has issued an advisory alerting commuters about the likely disruption in operation of taxis, maxi cabs, private buses and auto rickshaws due to the bandh.

"There might be disruption in operation of taxis, maxi cabs, private buses and auto rickshaws. Therefore, all road users are advised to use alternative roads and plan their travel accordingly," it said.

According to the traffic advisory, vehicles coming from RR junction towards Khodays circle have been suggested to move towards Krishna floor mill and proceed towards Malleshwaram while vehicles coming from Goodshed road have been suggested to proceed towards G T road via Sangolli Rayanna circle to reach Okalipuram and subsequenlty proceed towards Sujatha theatre.

"Vehicles coming from Ananda Rao circle should move towards old JDS office road and reach Sheshadripuram road and vehicles coming from Mysuru Bank circle, proceed towards Palace road towards Maharani junction underpass and go towards Basaveshwara circle," the advisory stated.

The traffic police have advised commuters to avoid KG road, Sheshadri road, GT road and roads around Freedom Park and Majestic bus stand.