Nationwide strike affects transport, banking services in TN, Puducherry

Transport and banking services were hit in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Monday due to the two-day nationwide strike announced by trade unions.

Published: 29th March 2022 05:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th March 2022 05:54 AM   |  A+A-

CITU protesting against Central policies on Chennai’s Mount Road | Sriram R

By Express News Service

Transport and banking services were hit in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Monday due to the two-day nationwide strike announced by the central trade unions. Most of the TNSTC buses remained off the road in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Nilgiris and Erode districts on Monday.

According to sources at TNSTC, out of the total 2,520 buses in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Nilgiris and Erode districts, only 430 buses took to the roads on Monday. However, autorickshaws and taxis operated normally. Due to the lesser number of government buses, women passengers especially college students and office goers were forced to travel on footboard in private buses. Buses to neighbouring states like Kerala and Karnataka also did not from Coimbatore.

In Tiruchy, more than 80 per cent of the government buses were off the road. Union members at BHEL Tiruchy said of the total 4,500 employees, only 1,000 reported to work. "Only the employees associated with Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) attended duty," they said.

In Thanjavur, the members of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and All India Agriculture Workers Union (AIAWU) staged a road blockade in front of old bus stand. They raised slogans demanding fulfillment of promises made by the Union Government and repealing the three farm laws.  

In Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai districts, the farmer's associations, farmworkers' unions affiliated to CPM conducted protests and blocked roads at various places. In Madurai, only 40 per cent of town buses were on the road.

In Kanniyakumari, TNSTC officials said 46 per cent of the buses did not operate and 53 per cent of its staff were absent. "The corporation, however, did operate some buses up to the interstate border at Kaliyakkavilai," they said.

Regional transport officials in Tirunelveli said only 40 per cent of the buses werre operational in Tirunelveli, Tenkasi and Thoothukudi districts. In Thoothukudi, following the protest by the VOC port employees, the cargo handling from six vessels were affected. The officials said 25 per cent of government buses were operated in the combined Vellore district- Vellore, Ranipet, and Tirupathur. In Cuddalore, only five per cent of the buses were operated.

In Villupuram district, less than 10 per cent of the buses were operated as 70 per cent of workers took part in the strike. Buses plying to Puducherry were stopped at the border and passengers were dropped in Madagadipet village itself.

Since public sector banks remained closed in many districts, huge crowd was witnessed at ATMs. Many ATMs went out of cash in the afternoon. Members of various trade unions staged road roko and demonstrations at various places across Tamil Nadu and they were arrested by the police. Killiyoor MLA S Rajesh Kumar was among those who arrested for picketing at Karungal in Nagercoil.

In Puducherry also bank services were hit due to the protest. Though buses of Puducherry Road Transport Corporation and private buses were operated  normally, TNSTC buses were less than normal, leaving the commuters heading for Chennai and other districts stranded at Puducherry bus stand.


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