The token bus strike called by the Kerala Private Bus Operators’ Confederation on Saturday was partial in Kozhikode district.
As the All Kerala Bus Operators’ Coordination Committee did not join the strike, there were some buses plying in all the routes in Kozhikode district. Also, as the long distance services were exempted from the strike, it was a great relief for the passengers in Malabar region, where the KSRTC does not have many services.
Since it was Second Saturday and a holiday for most of the education institutions and offices, the strike did not affect the public much. Still, some passengers were found stranded in the Mofussil bus stand in Kozhikode. Passengers had to squeeze into KSRTC buses in some routes where the strike was more pronounced.
The bus operators have gone on strike demanding an increase in the minimum charges to Rs.8, as well as subsidy for diesel.
They have also raised demands regarding installation of speed governors in buses, hiking the fare for students, an end to parallel services, and to withdraw ‘unnecessary’ fines being levied from bus owners.
The All Kerala Bus Operators’ Coordination Committee had stayed away from the strike as they decided to wait for the implementation of the Justice Ramachandran Commission report, based on which the Transport Minister had assured them that the charges would be raised. However, the committee will join the strike from December 18 onwards, if there wasn’t a favourable decision based on the report by then.