KOLKATA: The West Bengal government has taken a slew of measures to maintain normal life and foil an opposition Congress and Left parties-called 'Bharat bandh' on Monday to protest high fuel prices and depreciation of the rupee.
While the Congress has called the bandh for six hours from 9.00 am, the CPI(M)-led Left Front has called a 12-hour bandh starting from 6.00 am.
Additional police personnel would be deployed throughout the state to ensure that there was no disruption or violence in connection with the bandh call.
"Additional arrangements will be made to ensure normal life," a Kolkata police officer said on Sunday.
The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has expressed support on the issues on which the shut down has been called, but said it was against any kind of strike in the state as per the stated policy of party supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Senior state minister Partha Chatterjee has said that the government would take all measures to maintain public utility services on Monday.
State transport undertakings will run more buses than usual to ensure that commuters are not inconvenienced, Chatterjee said.
A senior transport department officer said that arrangement has been made with a nationalised insurance company to extend insurance benefits of up to Rs 75,000 to the owner of any vehicle, damaged by miscreants on September 10.
The owner of the vehicle would have to file a complaint within 12 hours of the incident and will be reimbursed within 72 hours, the officer said.
Traders have also been asked to keep their establishments open on Monday and assured of all possible protective measures, Chatterjee said.
Chatterjee also promised all administrative measures to ensure that life remained normal in the state.
The state government has issued a circular asking all government employees to attend office on Monday.
All the state government offices will remain open on Monday and show-cause notices will be issued to the absent employees.
Leave will be granted only on the grounds of hospitalisation and family bereavement, the government circular said.
West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Adhir Chowdhury has said that his party will observe the bandh in the state for six hours from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm.
The Left Front has called the bandh for 12 hours from 6.00 am to 4.00 pm, a CPI(M) leader said.
The Left Front will hold two rallies - one from Entally and another from Hazra crossing, on Monday morning in support of the bandh, CPI(M) Central Committee member Rabin Deb said, while calling on the people to make the strike a success.
The TMC will also hold a rally in the afternoon from Moulali in central Kolkata to protest the rising fuel prices and the falling Rupee, Chatterjee said.