The 12-hour Ernakulam district hartal called by the Save FACT Action Committee on Monday passed off peacefully but hit normal life as public transport vehicles stayed off the road and banks and business establishments downed shutters for the day.
The hartal, called to put pressure on the government for an early clearance of the Rs. 991-crore revival package for the public sector Fertilizers and Chemiclas Travancore, was described by its organisers as a “historic success.”
The hartal was observed in tandem with a 24-hour industrial strike, which hit functioning of industrial units in the district. The major units hit by the hartal and strike included FACT, Hindustan Insecticides Ltd, Travancore Cochin Chemicals, Hindustan Machine Tools and Cochin Port Trust. Operations of the BPCL-Kochi refinery were normal.
However, movement of petroleum products and cooking gas from bottling plants in the district and from the Kochi refinery came to a standstill.
Piling works for the Kochi metro rail project was totally halted owing to the hartal though minor works like repair of storm water drainage were carried out as usual, sources said.
As many as 108 of the 164 employees at the Ernakulam District Collectorate were absent on Monday. The protesting workers blocked train traffic at South Kalamassery, where thousands of workers from different industrial units gathered.