NEW DELHI (TIP): Bharat Bandh:Nation-wide strike hit banking andtransport sector day two of nationwidestrike. While banking services were onFebruary 21 paralysed with ATMs runningout of cash in metro cities and publictransport disrupted during the Centraltrade unions sponsored strike whichevoked a mixed response in most statesbarring Kerala where normal life was hit.Life remained normal in West Bengalthough banking services were crippled withnationalised and private banks closed andATMs remaining non-functional.Transport services were normal andshops, markets and businessestablishments opened in the state.
In the national capital, commuters facedhardships for the second consecutive day asmajority of auto-rickshaws and taxis stayedoff the road in support of the strike.Various industrial units and banks eitherremained closed or witnessed thinattendance while markets and commercialareas were open.In Maharashtra, majority of ATMs driedup in the financial capital Mumbai.”A majority of ATMs have dried up while(bank) branches are shut. Additionally,there has not been any cheque clearing aspersonnel from RBI too joined the strike. Itwill take at least 2-3 working days to clearthe backlog for banks”, said All India BankEmployees Association Vice PresidentVishwas Utagi.Suburban railway, the city’s life line,functioned normally and road trafficremained unaffected.
In Kerala, normal life was paralysed dueto the strike with workers from mostsectors ranging from transport to bankingkeeping away from work.Reports from across the state said busesand taxis were off the roads and marketsremained shut. Train and air services werenot affected.Attendance in government offices wasthin and educational institutions remainedclosed as pro-Left service and teachersunions joined the strike. Universities havecancelled examinations scheduled for thelast two days.
The unions have put forward a charter of10 demands such as urgent steps to controlprice rise, strict enforcement of labourlaws in all places of work, social securitynet for workers in the unorganised sector,end to disinvestment in PSUs and raisingminimum wage to Rs 10,000 a month.However, the strike had no major impactin most parts of Karnataka.Though banking services were hit, manybuses, taxis and autos plied and shopsremained opened. However, schools andcolleges were closed.Employees of banks and public sectororganisations in Andhra Pradeshcontinued their protests on the second dayof the strike.In Tamil Nadu, banking and postalservices remained affected while shopsremained open and transport services pliednormally.Members of the protesting trade unionsstaged demonstrations in various parts ofChennai.
Though there were reports that somelabour unions representing employees ofMaruti Udyog at its plants in Manesar andGurgaon had joined the strike along withUnions of HeroMotoCorp, workers of thecompany attended duty in the state.According to Union representatives ofHyundai Motor India Employees and FordMotor India, which has manufacturingfacilities at Sriperumbudur andMaraimalai Nagar, they have decided toconduct a mass rally today in view of thestrike.Transaction of cheques worth of Rs 3000crore in Chennai were affected while mostof the ATMs of several banks have driedout due to lack of cash.In the north, public transport andbanking services continued to be affectedin Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh due tothe strike.
Reports pouring in from various placessuggest that majority of state owned busesplying on inter-state routes and inter-cityroutes in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarhdid not ply.With bank employees observing strike,banking transactions were hit, causinginconvenience to customers.Industrial production in Punjab andHaryana was unaffected.A report from Hisar has said activists ofdifferent trade unions staged dharnas infront of their respective offices.Normal life was partially affected inseveral parts of Odisha due to the strike.People faced difficulties in commuting asbuses, taxis auto-rickshaws remained offthe roads, leaving a large number ofpassengers stranded at different places.
Bank services in Mumbai hit
Mumbai: Majority of ATMs have driedup in the financial capital of Mumbai andbanking operations across the city were hiton the second day of the general strikecalled by central trade unions for variousdemands.”A majority of ATMs have dried up whilethe (bank) branches are shut. Additionally,there has not been any cheque clearing aspersonnel from RBI too joined the strike. Itwill take at least 2-3 working days to clearthe backlog for banks”, said All India BankEmployees Association Vice PresidentVishwas Utagi.The strike witnessed near cent per centparticipation by employees from bankingand insurance sector in the financial hub,leaving their operations completelyparalysed.our demands, including the one for notallowing private sector participants intothe fray for which we are holding thebandh”, Utagi said.Suburban railway, the city’s life line,functioned normally and road trafficremained unaffected, though there werefewer passengers using public transport.Flight operations at the Mumbai airportwere also normal despite a section ofairport unions declaring their support tothe strike, an airport spokesperson said.
AP: Bank, govt employees hold protests
Hyderabad: Employees of banks andpublic sector organisations in AndhraPradesh today continued their protestson the second day of the two-day strikecalled by Central trade unions in supportof their various demands.The personnel of variousorganisations, who stayed away fromwork yesterday, began their protests inHyderabad and other places in AndhraPradesh.The employees of various PSU banksand workers in the unorganised sectortook out protest rallies in Hyderabad andother parts of the state.Services in banking and other PSUorganisations were badly affected on thefirst day of the 48-hour general strikeyesterday.AITUC state unit president and MLC P JChandrasekhar Rao had claimed that thestrike was being held in an unprecedentedmanner with staff of the state-run minerSingareni Collieries, Andhra Pradesh StateRoad Transport Corporation (APSRTC)joining the stir.He claimed that 75 per cent of RTC buses,the principal mode of public transport inAP, remained off the roads yesterday.
Life unaffected in KarnatakaBangalore:
The two-day nationwidestrike called by 11 Central trade unionshadno major impact in most parts ofKarnataka today.Though banking services were hit, manybuses, taxis and autos plied and shops andhotels remained opened here.However, schools and colleges wereclosed.No violence was reported from any partof the state, police said.Services at many hospitals in the citywere not hit, as also in IT companies.Several PSUs including HAL, BHEL andBEL, besides a host of other industrialunits in Bangalore were functioningnormally.There was improvement in attendance ingovernment offices, police said.There has been no impact on normal lifedue to the strike in Belgaum district,sources said.Visvesvaraya Technological Universitypostponed Mtech, MCA and MBAexaminations scheduled for today.
Partial impact in Odisha
Normal life was partially affected inseveral parts of Odisha today on the lastday of the two-day nation-wide strike calledby central trade unions.People faced difficulties in commuting asbuses, taxis auto-rickshaws remained offthe roads, leaving a large number ofpassengers, including women and children,stranded at different places.In the state capital here, some threewheelerswere seen plying in many areassince this morning, giving respite to thecommuters who had a tough time travellingon February 21.Shops, markets, business establishmentsand petrol pumps remained closed, whileeating joints and kiosks were found opentoday. Small traders and retailers alsoresumed their business operations, officialsources said.Banks remained closed with employeespicketing and demonstrating at differentplaces, while most educational institutions,including schools, were open.