While local trains and city buses plied despite the bandh supporters attempts to thwart Mumbais lifeline,it was the taxis and autorickshaws that left commuters stranded on Thursday.
Activists staged rail rokos at Sion,Mahim and for an outstation train bound for Mumbai in Lonavla.
Though trains tried to stick to schedule,people were unable to reach stations as only 20 per cent of the taxis and 70 per cent of the rickshaws (falling to 40 per cent as the day progressed) were in service.
I had to walk for 25 minutes this morning to reach the station. There were no autorickshaws or buses in sight, said Swati Mhatre (33),a Tata Memorial staff worker from Ambernath.
Of the 3,900 BEST buses in service daily,only 87 per cent plied on Thursday. The bus was late and when I finally reached the station,there was a morcha. It was complete pandemonium, said Valerie Fernandez (24),a resident of Andheri (East). I didnt go to work as I was afraid of the stone-pelting incidents. Autorickshaws werent even considered an option, said Jugal Pandya (24),a resident of Thakur Village,Kandivali.
Arriving air passengers were left stranded as both taxis and rickshaws were on strike at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. We had to provide buses to passengers for Andheri and Vile Parle stations, said Mannik Nangiya,spokesperson for Mumbai International Airport Limited.
Activists went on a rampage,they were attacking autorickshaws and threatening them to stop working. The drivers were carrying travellers with huge bags,what are these people to do? said Clive Dias (34),a resident of Kandharpada in Dahisar.