Declaration of a state holiday on Thursday, the day of polling, has only added to the already extended weekend. Many Bangaloreans are heading out of the city for the long weekend (polling day, Good Friday and then the usual weekend).
According to officials in KSRTC, the corporation has already arranged over 50 extra buses to clear the rush on Wednesday.
“As of now the demand is for Wednesday. We have arranged 23 extra buses to ply within the State and another 28 on inter-state routes. If the rush continues, we will add extra buses on Thursday and Friday night,” a BMTC official said.
However, it will be only premium buses that will be added on Thursday night, as other buses will be on election duty, the official said.
“KSRTC is providing 800 buses and BMTC 1,200 for election duty on Thursday. We will not have any extra buses that can be arranged to clear the holiday rush,” a KSRTC spokesperson said.
While a lot of people may be leaving the city on Thursday night, others have taken a conscious decision to stay back and vote before heading out on holidays.
Ravi M R, a senior engineer at a private firm is one among them.
“Voting is our primary duty. We have planned a trip to Waynad for three days. Since voting starts at 7 am, we plan to get to the polling booth as soon as it opens or as early as possible, before heading out. We are hoping to be done by 9 am and then we will leave,” he said.
Kunall Jumani, founder of 365 Degree Photography says, “I have a few business meetings on Thursday and Friday and I will be heading out to Mumbai. But I have decided to leave only in the evening so that I have enough time to vote”.
The long weekend is a blessing considering that apart from the meeting, I can also meet a few friends,” he said.
Banks Will Remain Open
Banks will remain open for business on Saturday and no shortage of cash in ATMs is expected.
Some companies will be working on Thursday to maintain critical services for customers outside India. According to sources, companies in the financial BPO space are allowing local employees who want to vote to take a day off.
“We are working officially, but those who want leave can go ahead. There are no restrictions,” said an employee working in the city.
Another employee said, “We do not have leave officially for non-Indian processes. However, internally we have decided that if some employees come in late because they go to vote, we will adjust.”