The 12-hour hartal in Tripunithura on Monday in protest against the laxity of the authorities in providing motorable roads was total.

The hartal was called by CPI(M) and the private bus workers association, including CITU, INTUC, AITUC and BMS.

The road from S.N. Junction to Puthiyakavu dug up by the Kerala Water Authority to replace the old water supply pipes is in shambles. The work started on May 5 by blocking entry into the town through this arterial road.

Tripunithura police Sub-Inspector P.R. Santhosh said private buses and autorickshaws were off the road. No vehicle provided service to the town. Only private vehicles were allowed to pass by, though CPI(M) and BJP cadres had in the morning tried to persuade people not to enter the town.

A couple of autorickshaws that plied early morning were stopped by hartal activists. Shops downed shutters and most of the private offices remained closed. The main post office at Chakkamkulangara was shut down by the activists by 9.30 a.m. after a couple of transactions.

The usually busy Mini Civil Station at Tripunithura was deserted. Just about 10 per cent of the employees turned up for work but were asked to leave as none of the offices were allowed to open. The banks and insurance offices in public and private sector were also shut down. A bank officer in the private sector told The Hindu that all the employees had turned up but the activists made everyone move out and close the office.

The Public Works Department office, though opened for a while, was soon shut down fearing hartal violence.

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