Double whammy Puneites have to deal with double trouble as autorickshaws stay off roads for a day; no water supply till afternoon
Bus rides turn worst nightmare for commuters
For 78-year-old Kaushalya Kolhe,Monday was full of torment. With her visually-impaired sister-in-law and a seven-year-old grandson in tow,she had to wait for hours at the PMPML bus stand in Swargate to get home in Nigdi. Hassled by the scorching heat,she struggled to hold her grandson while keeping an eye on her sister-in-law.
We always travel in autorickshaw when my sister-in-law is with us. Due to the auto strike,we have to wait here for a bus back home. I have been here for hours. There are so many bus stops here; we dont know which is the right one, said Kaushalya.
Due to the day-long strike called by autorickshaw associations,commuters across the city had a harrowing time. Office-goers and college students had to wait for PMPML buses or look for other modes of transport to reach their destinations. Senior citizens,differently abled citizens,pregnant women and those with young kids were particularly affected by the strike. Summer heat made bus rides even more miserable. They were filled to capacity,with more passengers struggling to get in.
I struggled to find an auto. Though there were some at the auto stand,no one was willing to ply, said Zarin Heena,a resident of Pulgate area,holding her seven-month-old baby. Her husband was making enquiries with bus conductors at the Sassoon Hospital stop. Had I known about the strike,I would have never ventured out. I feel nauseous in buses, she added.
Scores of commuters could be seen waiting at PMPML stops while buses either zipped past them or had no space. The increased passenger load made journeys painful for regular commuters. I travel on this route every day. But on Monday,the number of passengers almost doubled. I had to struggle to get on the bus, said Santosh Kumar,a student of Abasaheb Garware College.
Though PMPML attempted to chip in with 100 additional buses to clear the morning peak-hour rush,it did not seem enough. Commuters complained of buses running late.