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Delhi commuters face tough time due to shutdown

The nationwide shutdown against the fuel price hike hit traffic in several parts of the city Thursday with commuters facing a tough time getting to work with few autorickshaws and roads being blocked in some places.

"Autos are not plying. After struggling for an hour, I managed to find one which demanded an exorbitant fare," said Richa Srivastav, a commuter in central Delhi's Mandir Marg.

"I had to finally walk to the nearest metro station which was almost two kilometres away," she added.

With several autorickshaw unions joining the bandh, nearly 55,000 autos and 15,000 taxis are expected to stay off the road. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders threatened to block 100 intersections in the capital as part of the shutdown.

BJP workers blocked roads in east Delhi as part of the nationwide shutdown. There were reports of some roads being blocked in north Delhi as well. The Delhi Traffic Police was also sending text messages to people as part of its 'alerts'.

"BJP workers have blocked the road under Akshardham flyover. Kindly avoid this road," the traffic department said on its Facebook page.

While many Delhiites suffered due to the shutdown called by the Left parties, many chose to depend on the Delhi Metro.

"A friend alerted me early morning about the bandh. Thankfully I chose to travel by the Metro to reach office," Avnish Arora, a marketing executive, told IANS.

Nearly 300 trader associations in the city will also keep markets shut to support the shutdown.  

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