Mangaluru, May 20, 2016: Reports state people who arrived at Mangaluru Central Railway Station on May 19, Thursday had a harsh time as they were left with no option but to pay auto or taxi drivers up to 3 or even 4 times the normal fare.
The daylong bundh called as a mark of protest against the Yettinahole river diversion project made life hard for those arrived in the city. The few autorickshaw and taxi drivers who ventured out made merry, charging exorbitant fares for short distances.
All buses were off the road till the evening. While some people chose to wait for resumption of public transport services, others were left with no option but to shell out the huge fares demanded by the drivers.
Among those who preferred to wait for the resumption of bus services resident of a village near Hassan who arrived at the KSRTC bus stand in the city at 5 a.m. along with his wife and child, a construction labourer, and his family members were Kundapura bound for work. With no buses plying, the family decided to stay put at the bus stand.
Passengers arriving at Central Railway Station too were harried by auto and taxi drivers who demanded up to four times the standard fare. A person his relatives, who came from Kozhikode, were asked to pay Rs. 500 for an auto ride to K.S. Hegde Hospital in Deralakatte. When he refused, a taxi driver offered to take them for Rs. 800.
A resident of Bihar, was not willing to pay an exorbitant fare for reaching Manipal from the railway station, an electrician, he asked his friend in Manipal to come down on a motorcycle and pick him up.
While city buses remained off the road through the day, KSRTC buses resumed services around 5 p.m. Some of the KSRTC buses that were to leave the city to Davangere and Mysuru around 5 a.m. were made to leave the previous night to the outskirts of the district.
Meanwhile, with most of the hotels and eateries closed, people went to the Nandini milk outlets for tea, coffee, lassi and snacks.