Traders jump on bandhwagon but city ‘won’t be hit’

The bandh called by Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Thursday is unlikely to affect any essential services.

Written by Express News Service | Published:September 20, 2012 4:29 am

The bandh called by Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Thursday is unlikely to affect any essential services. The city unit of BJP has urged that the bandh should be carried out peacefully and assured that no essential services will be affected.

The bandh has been called by the NDA to protest the Centre’s decision on allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail leading to the entry of retail giants such as Walmart in India,as well rise in fuel prices.

Resident Deputy Collector Anil Pawar said they have told schools and colleges that if there is any threat,they can approach the police department. “We have asked our staff to be present,’’ said Pawar.

BJP leaders said they had urged traders to join them in the bandh. “This being the festive season,we cannot force anyone. However,traders have extended their support,’’ said a BJP leader.

Police said political parties had assured them that they would not cause any violence,but they would still remain alert. Joint commissioner of police (law and order) Sanjivkumar Singhal said they have deployed a huge force on the roads for Ganpati. “Action will be taken against those causing disturbance,’’ he said.

Meanwhile,Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is set to function as usual and everyone has been asked to report on duty on time. “Civic services will be operational,” said a corporation officer. He added that there was no communication from any political party to shut PMC office. Most of the opposition parties have decided to stay away from bandh,citing possible inconvenience during Ganesh festival.

“We have decided not to insist on citizens to participating in the bandh,’’ said a BJP leader. He said it would be improper to create problems for citizens during the festival.

Most schools will function as usual. Principal of Symbiosis school Leena Choudhary said they have not declared a holiday on Thursday. “If parents don’t wish to send their kids to school,we are fine with their decision. However,we have had no inquiry from parents regarding the functioning of school for tomorrow,’’ said Choudhary.

She,however,said that the school can inform parents through SMS and attendance is not compulsory for such days.

Delhi Public School,however,has declared that it will be closed tomorrow. Principal Neelam Chakraborty said it was the management decision from Delhi. “We had exams scheduled for tomorrow but now we have declared prepatory leave and the exam has been postponed,’’ she said.

Some school transporters are supporting the bandh while others will only partially support it. Sudamrao Jhambhulkar,representative of the School Transporters’ Association said some of them have agreed to ferry schoolchildren in the morning but will ask parents to pick their up in the afternoon. “The bus drivers’ association from St Anne’s and St Vincent schools have decided not to operate at all,’’ he said. He added that most of them have decided not to participate in the bandh.

Parents,however,are being cautious. “I do not want to take a risk and will not sending my child,’’ said Neelambari Jha,a parent.

Meanwhile,colleges have maintained that they would function as usual.

Poona Merchant’s Chamber chairman Ajit Sethiya said 86 organisations from the trader community will participate in the bandh tomorrow. “We will be keeping our shops closed,’’ he said. He added that representatives from all organisations had a meeting on Monday and decided that they would support the bandh.

Members from small-scale retailers,cloth,timber market,cutlery and stationery and hoteliers’ organisations are supporting the bandh. “All the traders on Laxmi Road and other retail shops from the area will be closed tomorrow,’’ said Sethiya.

Many traders,however,are not keen on downing shutters during the festive season. “The decision to enforce a bandh during Ganpati is not wise. A lot of business is generated during the festive season and traders are sceptical of downing their shutters at this time,” said a trader from the city areas and will opt for a wait and watch policy.

Pune district transporters’ association representative Ram Kadam said all tempos,trailers and trucks ferrying goods to and from Pune will support the bandh. He added that though the autorickshaw organisations are supporting the bandh,they have decided not to participate. “It’s the festive season and we do not want to inconvenience the citizens,’’ said Baba Shinde,representative of an autorickshaw union.

Vegetable and milk vendors’ associations have decided not to support the bandh.

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