It was no doubt a frustrating day for students, commuters and tourists in Kullu-Manali who suffered the brunt of strike by private taxi and bus operators on Thursday.
Thousands of tourists in Manali, who could not get taxi for them, remained confined to their hotels. Solang, Naggar, Manikaran and other tourist spots of Manali were wearing deserted looks. Tourists, who reached here only for holidaying, sparing their precious time, were looking disappointed.
A tourist from Pune, Balraj Deshmukh, who had planned to visit Solang valley for some skiing and paragliding with his family, said he has already booked his return Volvo ticket from Manali to Delhi for Friday and he would not be able to visit Manali completely because of absence of cabs. “This strike could be for good or bad reasons, but we are suffering its adverse impact. Manali has no backup plan for tourists,” he said.
The Him-Anchal taxi operators’ union in Manali is the largest taxi union of Manali with more than 1,700 cabs and 80 mini buses. Striking against the state government for its order to increase the taxes, all these vehicles jammed their wheels which led to complete standstill in Manali. Though, no demonstrations were noticed here but students and commuters who are dependent on public transportations had a terrible day.
“Kullu is well connected with Manali by private buses while government buses ply the route occasionally and we were waiting for buses to reach office for over 2 hours,” said a commuter Sanjeev Kumar. Students, too, had to wait for hours to reach the schools. Some taxi operators took advantage of the moment and charged arbitrary fares from the tourists. According to police, no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.