Hartal near-total in Ernakulam

The dawn-to-dusk hartal on Monday in support of the Bharat Bandh under the aegis of the Samyukt Kisan Morchaagainst the Union government’s farm laws, backed by various political parties, labour and trade unions, found its echo in the district with public transport coming to a standstill.

While banks and insurance companies remained open and clearing houses functioned, there was a fall in the volume of business as public transport was not available and people mostly kept indoors, also because of the bad weather condition.

The district witnessed about 6-8 mm of rain per hour throughout the day on Monday, affecting the movement of people and vehicles.

Banking unions said only employees of the Kerala Grameen Bank joined the strike on Monday in solidarity against bank privatisation while other bank employees, including those from the public sector, expressed solidarity with the protesting farmers without closing down.

The Ernakulam market, where 20 to 25 loads of vegetables and provisions arrive in the early hours everyday, was virtually closed, said a spokesman for the Market Stall Owners’ Association. Broadway, the hub of retail and wholesale business, remained closed. The Thoppumpady fisheries harbour, the largest in the State, was also closed.

Schools and colleges remained closed and no public transport vehicles were seen on highways. There were a few private vehicles on the road, mostly two-wheelers. Hotels and business establishments remained shut.

Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) schedules were cancelled in the district. Sources in the KSRTC Aluva depot said none of the 37 schedules operated on Monday.

Attendance of employees at public sector units like Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore, and Cochin Port Trust remained close to normal and no operations were disrupted. Cargo operations at the Vallarpadam terminal were not hit due to the hartal.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 4:28:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/hartal-near-total-in-ernakulam/article36698049.ece

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