Pune: A shutdown, called by Maratha outfits demanding reservation, paralysed the transport system across the state. Around 600 trips of Pune division to Mumbai, Thane, Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Solapur, Daund and Ahmednagar have been cancelled. The buses plying between Pune and Aurangabad were shut on the second consecutive day. The shutdown of the buses has caused a loss of around Rs 90 lakh till afternoon.
As per officials with Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), buses going towards these destinations were affected as not even a single trip out of the schedule was completed by late evening.
“Every day, around 1,500 buses are scheduled for departure. On Wednesday, 851 buses departed from depots and 633 were cancelled. The buses travelling towards Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur were shut since morning. The Mumbai-bound buses which were plying till 9 am, were later stuck in traffic due to the protest in Navi Mumbai and Thane and we had to cancel all buses, including Shivneri, Asiad, semi-luxury and ordinary buses. We will not restart the buses till the formal information by the police is received,” said Yamini Joshi, Divisional Controller of Pune division.
Officials with Pune Division said that the transport body has made arrangements to refund the fare to those who had already booked the tickets.
“We are turning away those who are coming to buy tickets due to uncertainty. It’s possible that buses will ply tomorrow on these routes, but it can’t be said with certainty,” she said.
The official said that some buses which had already departed were stuck on highways and not reached at depots and many buses returned from
However, passengers have no option to go to Mumbai until the agitation is over. Hundreds of passengers are waiting at all four ST depots i.e. Pune station, Swargate, Shivajinagar and Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Most of the passengers, who booked their ticket to go to Mumbai by Shivneri buses, cancelled their tickets and opted for the Pune-Mumbai cool cab service.
Allaudin Maula Shaikh of Pune-Mumbai Taxi Association said, “Early in the morning, there was no problem. As the day passed, the taxis were stuck on the highways, so there were very few passengers.”
Mahesh Shirsath, who frequently travels by Shivneri buses, told Sakal Times, “I had a meeting in Mumbai and took Shivneri bus at 7.30 am. After arriving near Kalamboli, there was a huge traffic jam towards Navi Mumbai. The protesters were pelting stones. The bus was stuck in traffic for four hours. It was a horrible journey.”
Ramesh Aggarwal, another passenger, who had booked a ticket to travel by Shivneri bus to Thane from Swargate, said, “I had booked my ticket online, but when got to know about the protest, I dropped my plan to go to Thane.”