Kolkata, Apr 21 : A 12-hour shutdown call in West Bengal by regional Trinamool Congress party and its ally Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) protesting against rising prices of essential commodities has disrupted train services and normal life in West Bengal on Monday.
"The protestors blocked movement of trains at different stations. Especially, train services in both Howrah and Sealdah divisions were disrupted. Local trains on the Howrah-Baruipur, Howrah-Konnnagar and Bandel-Naihati sections ran smoothly," the sources said.
The Howrah-Ranchi Shatabdi Express was cancelled and the Howrah-Dhanbad Black Diamond Express, which left Howrah in the morning, was stopped at Bally station.
People faced problems as many of them were either stranded or preferred not to venture out due to the shutdown.
"I do not think calling for a shutdown is a solution to this problem. Price hike or any other issue cannot be resolved in this manner by calling a shutdown," said Anand Mukherjee, a local.
While some lamented the inconvenience caused to them, others termed it as a ploy to gain political mileage, saying, shutdown is not a solution to inflation.
"Discussing the problem is a better way to arrive at a solution for a problem like price rise. The government should take steps to check hoarding, should try and provide for ample supply of the commodities and should sit and chalk out a plan to control inflation rather than carrying out such shutdowns and protests," said Uttam Ghosh, another local.
There were reports of a few buses being damaged by bandh supporters.
The bandh call was initially given to protest against the spiralling prices of food items but later issues like terror by CPI (M) cadres ahead of next month's panchayat election and the alleged attack on Banerjee were added.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said, "The State and the Centre have failed to initiate any action despite every other anti-price rise programme, we launched. We have called the shutdown as the State and the Central Governments have ignored public inconvenience caused by sharp rise in prices of essential commodities."