The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the merchants' agitation council protesting against the opening of the new bus stand here and the resultant traffic diversion disrupted normal life in Kattappana panchayat areas on Thursday.

Shops and business establishments remained closed. Buses, taxis and autorickshaws did not ply.

A holiday was declared to the educational institutions in the grama panchayat areas. Though some shops had opened in the morning, hartal supporters closed them forcibly. The merchants in the old bus stand took out a protest march shouting slogans against the panchayat committee for shifting the bus stand, which, they said, would adversely affect their income.

Panchayat president Johny Kolampully said that the new bus stand would ease traffic congestion in the Central junction. The traffic revision was done as per the recommendations of the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC), he said.

Keywords: hartal

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