A very few BMTC buses plied on city roads on Thursday. Less than 10 per cent of the auto rickshaw drivers were seen on the roads. Customers complained that auto drivers dropped them only to nearby localities and overcharged those who wanted to travel to far destinations.
Sumathi K, a nurse, who had to travel from Nandidurga Road to BTM Layout, said she paid `300, double the normal fare.
“The auto driver demanded double the amount and I had no choice but to pay him,” she rued.
Some auto drivers did not agree to take customers on long distances. Babu, an auto driver in Avalahalli expressed his apprehension over working on Thursday.
“We are unprepared to work because we worry if the agitators will create problems. We can drop customers only to places which are closeby. Long distance drops could be risky,” he said.
Zubair, an auto driver in Yaarabnagar said he planned to drop passengers only in case of emergencies. “If there is an emergency situation, I will agree for a drop. Not otherwise,” he said.
The Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union joined the bandh and less than 10 per cent of the one lakh autos in the city were out on the streets said Meenakshi Sundaram, president of the union.
“We are vehemently against the withdrawal of subsidies on LPG, FDI in retail and continuous rise in fuel prices. Auto drivers in the city have supported the bandh,” he said.
“The Adarsha Autodrivers Union completely boycotted work on Thursday as we did not want to take any risk and had to show our support for the success of the bandh,” said C Sampath, general secretary of the union.