Strike hits life in Goa

| Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - 20:16
First Published |
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Strike hits life in Goa

Panaji: Life was disrupted in Goa on Wednesday in the wake of an all-India strike called by trade unions and transport associations, even as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) maintained that the strike had flopped.
Public and goods transport services were worst hit by the strike and even market places wore a deserted look. 
Attendance at schools, government and private offices was poor as the day passed without any major incident of violence throughout the state.
Superintendent of Police (North Goa district) Umesh Gaonkar told IANS that there was less movement on the roads and that the strike may have affected normal life.
"Public movement may have been depleted because there were no private buses. It may have affected people. But we took every effort to ensure that there was no force used by the organisers of the bandh," Gaonkar said.
In the Verna industrial estate in South Goa, police had to break up a major road block along the National Highway-17 and arrest dozens of protestors, who were later released on a personal bond.
Suhas Naik, the convenor of the Goa Convention of Workers and All Goa Transport Operators Associations, said the strike was total in some places, especially the busier towns.
"We thank people of Goa for their overwhelming support and co-operation. The strike has been peaceful. Major towns as well as the coastal areas of the state saw near 100 per cent co-operation with our cause," Naik said.
The strike had been called in protest against the provisions of the proposed Road Motor Transport and Safety Bill, Foreign Direct Investment in retail trade and the government's tinkering with labour laws.
The BJP, however, said the response to the strike had been lukewarm.
"People were misled by the organisers. In some case we also found that people were forced to shut down their establishments. By taking their buses off the road, the people faced great inconvenience going about with their regular lives," BJP spokesperson Dattaprasad Naik said.
Most hit by the strike were tourists, many of who were stranded at major transit points like the Dabolim airport and various bus and railway stations.
"I have been trying to flag down a vehicle for the last three hours. I have a reservation at a hotel near Calangute beach," said Ashad Johari, a tourist from Mumbai at the Mapusa bus stand, 15 km from Panaji.

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