Bengal partially hit by strike

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 20, 2013 08:26 hrs

Kolkata: Life was partially affected in West Bengal on the first day today of the two-day countrywide strike called by central trade unions with the situation remaining peaceful.

Shops, markets and business establishments were closed in many parts of the metropolis, while government run buses and trams ran in large numbers in comparison to private buses and taxis, which were less.

Banking operations remained paralysed in the state.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that attendance at the Writers' Buildings was 100 per cent.

Finance Minister Amit Mitra also said that his department registered 100 per cent attendance.

Many government employees stayed overnight in their offices.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her cabinet colleagues attended office at the state secretariat.

Bandh supporters took out processions in some areas.

Commissioner of Kolkata Police Surajit Karpurakayastha was on the roads in the morning to review security.

"Everything is normal. There is enough police," he said.

ADG (Law and Order), Banibrata Basu said no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

Trains services in the Howrah and Sealdah divisions of Eastern Railway remained more or less normal, though there was some disruption in Sealdah South due to squatting by strike supporters in the morning, railway sources.

"Metro rail services in the city remained normal. We have also arranged for extra security at gates so that the passengers don't face any problem," CPRO, Metro Railway Pratyush Ghosh, said.

At the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport flights were normal, but passengers had difficulty in reaching it because of transport problems, airport sources said.

The West Bengal government has issued a warning to employees against being absent during the strike.

The state government has also asked shops and markets to remain open or face administrative action, including cancellation of trade licence.

CITU leaders have criticised the state government for this saying that it was undemocratic and illegal.

Banerjee has said that her administration would ensure that life was normal and there would be no shutdown in the state.

She has also said that the government would pay in case of damage caused during the strike.

Central trade unions, CITU, INTUC, BMS and others have called the shutdown to oppose the economic policies of the UPA government.

More from Sify: