Mumbai may skip Bharat Bandh

Feb 19, 2013, 09:24 IST | Team MiD DAY

According to most trade unions, the two-day nationwide bandh called on February 20 and 21 will not affect the city significantly as most services will continue uninterrupted

As the country prepares for the nationwide bandh on February 20 and 21, called by trade unions in banking, insurance, public sector undertakings, transporters and unorganised sectors it seems that the city won’t be drastically affected by the two-day bandh as most unions aren’t going on strike for two days. MiD DAY spoke to various organisations and here’s what you should and shouldn’t expect. 

On the whole, it seems that the city’s transport services will be unaffected as trains and taxis will continue to ply. Autos under the Sharad Rao union will not ply on February 20 for 24 hours and even though BEST is supporting the bandh, buses will be plying on roads.

Taxis will be work as usual. We are not supporting the bandh. Additionally, we met the transport commissioner V N More and told him that we will not be participating in the bandh at all.
— Anthony Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Union

We are supporting the bandh and the cause but will not be actively participating in the bandh.
— Suhas Nalawade, general secretary, BEST Jagrit Kamgar Sangathana

We are not participating in the bandh in any form.
— Ajay Singh, general secretary, Western Railway Majdoor Sangh  

APMC (Markets)
Business at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) markets would continue as usual, during the two-day nationwide strike.
Although markets will be functional, we would like to make it clear that we support the bandh and the cause. However, we are keen that produce sent by farmers is not wasted and hence, prefer to work. Besides, we do not want to trouble the public in any way. But, in case of commodities not reaching the market owing to transportation problems, we can’t do anything.
— Kirti Rana, Director, APMC and President of Confederation of All India Traders, Maharashtra

Medical care
While private and BMC-run hospitals and clinics will remain unaffected by the bandh, nurses, clerical staff and ward boys of state-run hospitals will strike for one day. 

Dr T P Lahane,
Dean, JJ group of hospitals
The central union (of nurses and others) has given us an oral intimation about a strike on February 20 and 21. Except for the doctors, all other staff including the nurses, clerks, technicians and other non-medical staff, would be observing the strike on both days.

Dr A Salvi,
Deputy dean, KEM Hospital
We are part of emergency services and hence, will not participate in the strike. None of the unions from the hospital have given us any intimation of going on strike. 

Most banks will remain shut for the two-day bandh.
Ten lakh bank employees and officers working in 90,000 bank branches of all public, private, foreign, co-operative and regional rural banks across India will observe a 48-hour strike from Feb 20 to 21 against the government’s anti-workers’ policy.
— Vishwas Utagi, VP, All India Bank Employees Association

Law & order
Tomorrow we will disclose our plan.
— DCP D S Bhandare, GRP

Other services
Essential services like water supply, electricity will continue as routine. Only garbage collection and cleaning of roads would be affected, as workers will strike for two days.

Reason for bandh
Workers are striking for two days demanding for its 10-point common charter, which includes control rising prices, fighting corruption, creating employment and providing social security to all citizens

Govt notification
The state has warned all Class IV employees to withdraw their strike on February 20 and 21. They have said that they would issue disciplinary action against any officer or employee found participating in the strike and causing disruptions. According to the instructions, necessary steps have been taken by all divisional commissioners, and police commissioner to ensure smooth functioning of the state.

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