KARACHI - The strike call given by transporters on Friday multiplied miseries of commuters and brought the commercial and industrial activities in the metropolis to almost a standstill. In the morning, when people left home for their workplaces, there was no public transport and they had to walk miles to reach their offices in time. Main transport arteries of M. A. Jinnah Road and Shahra-e-Faisal were presenting a deserted look. Even government owned buses were off the roads. The transporters had given the strike call demanding compensations for the vehicles that were either torched or damaged during recent violent incidents in the Karachi. The ban on pillion riding further aggravated the situation for office-goers and the students appearing in intermediate examinations who had face difficulties in reaching their examination centres. Absence of public transport in the city provided golden chance to the rickshaws and taxi drivers to charge exorbitant fares from the commuters even for short distances. Big crowds of people were seen waiting at bus stops in the hope of getting lift or grabbing a ride on a few jam-packed mini buses, which had defied the strike call. Under these circumstances, offices and schools witnessed very thin attendance. People have strongly criticised the transport mafia for shutting down economic activities in the city. Some thickly populated areas of the metropolis appeared under a curfew-like situation. Meanwhile, there was hardly any bus present at the exit points of city such as Sohrab Goth. Business community and industrialists had to suffer great hardships as no freight trucks were available to carry their products to the port or railway stations. The daily wagers were particularly hit by the Fridays strike call because they could find a chance to reach their workplaces. Transport strike irks students Transport strike on Friday has severely disturbed the academic activities in the metropolis. Nearly all educational institutions presented the deserted look due to the considerable thin attendance of students and non-teaching staff, who failed to get routine transport, including mini buses and buses. The non availability of routine transport compelled people to stay at home. During the strike, called by transporters to record their protest against the killing of drivers in the recent violence, the students appearing in the HSC examinations have suffered a lot as buses and mini buses were disappeared on the day, while the candidates were obliged to be appeared in the intermediate examinations. Such students were forced to use Rickshaws and cabs on the higher fares.