PANAJI: Public transportation was badly hit on Monday on account of the mining dependents’ protest in Panaji which threw the traffic in the city out of gear for almost four hours.
No local or Kadamba Transport Corporation (KTC) buses were available till 3 pm. Cabs and rickshaws too remained unavailable leaving the office goers, school students and tourists stranded at various places in the city.
A large number of vehicles including buses were seen stuck in long queues on both sides of the Mandovi bridges, Patto bypass road and Santa Cruz-Bambolim Road on the National Highway 17, as the roads were blocked by the protestors. The North Goa Tourist Taxi Owners’ Association extended its support to the agitators and kept their taxis off the roads in the city further worsening the situation.
There was an abnormal rush for the Panaji to Betim ferryboat after both the Mandovi bridges were blocked. In order to ease the situation, two additional ferries were pressed into service.
Schoolchildren in the capital city using buses to commute between their home and school had a tough time reaching home after school, as no bus was available. Many schoolchildren residing in the suburbs were seen walking to their homes under the hot sun while some of them were seen standing by the side of roads, requesting two-wheeler riders for a lift. With no transport available in the city, tourists were compelled to walk to their hotels.
Prakul Naik, a Class V student, said, “I always travel by bus to go home after school. However, on Monday, I reached home at 3 pm, as bus was not available. I waited for almost one hour before I could find a motorist.”
K Radhika, a school teacher, who had to proceed to Vasco from Panaji by bus to reach her school, said, “I reached school by 3 pm. I requested a motorcycle pilot to drop me atleast upto Cortalim but he refused looking at the traffic blockade.”
Source:: The Navhind Times