With the Federation of Karnataka State Private Transport Associations calling for a strike in Bengaluru on September 11, traffic police and Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) have issued passenger advisories.
Transport association president S Nataraj Sharma told Moneycontrol that the 24-hour strike will commence at midnight on September 10. He said, "A total of 32 transport unions of auto-rickshaws, taxis, maxi cabs, school bus operators, intercity bus operators, goods vehicles, and others, have decided to participate in the strike." The private transporters will march from KSR City railway station to Freedom Park, where they will stage a demonstration.
Traffic police advisory
A traffic advisory issued by the Bengaluru traffic police said, "There might be disruptions in the operation of taxis, maxi cabs, private buses, and auto-rickshaws on September 11. All road users are advised to use alternative routes and plan their travel accordingly."
The alternative routes are:
Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), which operates Kempegowda International Airport, said, "Due to the one-day Bengaluru bandh protest on September 11, 2023, all modes of public transport will be impacted. Passengers are advised to plan their travel to and from the airport. Passengers are requested to follow the media releases from transport authorities for updates."
Govt to operate additional buses, provide additional security
Meanwhile, state Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy instructed officials to operate additional buses on the routes, which see a high number of auto-rickshaws and cabs. He said, "We will run more buses to schools, colleges, hospitals and garment factories." He said that instructions have been issued to the police to maintain law and order and provide security to drivers, who are not participating in the strike.
BMTC to run 100 additional airport trips
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has said that they will operate additional 500 buses (4,000 trips) from major bus stations such as Kempegowda Bus Stand, KR Market and Shivajinagar bus stations to Kadugodi, Sarjapur, Attibele, Anekal, Bannerghatta/Jigani, Harohalli, Bidadi, Tavarekere, Nelamangala, Hesaraghatta, Doddaballapur, Devanahalli, Bagalur, Channasandra, Hoskote and Outer Ring Road. BMTC officials would be deployed on major roads, bus stands and junctions across the city to monitor traffic. An additional 100 Vayu Vajra trips are planned to the airport.
Bengaluru Metro to increase frequency
The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has decided to increase Namma Metro's frequency on September 11. According to officials, trains will run every five minutes during peak hours (8 am-11:30 am and 5 pm-8 pm) and every six-eight minutes during non-peak hours.
More schools declare holiday
Sources said that many private schools, especially those without their own vehicles declared a holiday on September 11 due to the strike. Manoj Padikkal, chairman, school transport wing of Bus and Cars Operators Confederation, told Moneycontrol, "Most schools in the city that do not have their own transport fleet have declared a holiday. Some schools have shifted to online classes. Those schools with their own vehicles have decided to conduct classes as usual, mainly due to the mid-term exams."
D Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the Associated Managements of English Medium Schools (KAMS), told Moneycontrol, "We have not declared any holiday and it is left to schools to take a decision. Schools completely relying on private operators have declared holidays, but others have not."
Some tech firms offer employees work-from-home option
Sources said some tech firms have instructed employees to work-from-home on September 11 due to the strike. Outer Ring Road Companies Association (ORRCA) president Manas Das told Moneycontrol, "Some companies will function with limited staff, others instructed employees to work from home, and a few have said they will not provide employee transport due to strike. Companies are making own decisions." ORRCA is an umbrella organisation that represents companies along the Outer Ring Road (Central Silk Board – KR Puram section).
Meanwhile, some drivers' associations are not participating in the strike. "We have some essential services to provide to corporate company employees' transportation, VVIP movements, international delegates, central government officers visiting Bengaluru and international tourists. So we have asked the federation to exempt us from the strike," said a member of the Karnataka State Travel Operators’ Association.
Tanveer Pasha, president of Ola Uber Drivers and Owners Association, said: "We have left the decision to drivers; whether they want to play or participate in the strike. There is no forceful direction to our drivers," he said.