Kerala

Hartal brings life to a halt

A view of the Kottayam market, which wore a deserted look during the nationwide hartal on Monday  

The nation-wide general strike called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha brought normal life to a halt in both Kotttayam and Pathanamathitta districts.

The public transport system came to a complete standstill since morning while shops, commercial institutions and government offices too remain closed. The Mahatma Gandhi university, Kottayam, had already postponed all examinations scheduled for the day .

Meanwhile, a few private vehicles could be spotted on the road. The long-haul services run by the Kerala State Road Transport corporation, which had wound up operation by Sunday midnight, resumed operations later in the evening

Braving the heavy rains that has lashed the region since Sunday midnight, members of various trade unions took out processions in support of the strike. V.B.Binu, AITUC state secretary, inaugurated a joint protest of trade unions in Kottayam at 10.30 a.m

Kollam

The dawn-to-dusk strike was almost complete in Kollam with nearly all business establishments remaining closed and vehicles keeping off the road.

While some private vehicles, including those transporting patients, were seen, few KSRTC buses, taxi services and autorickshaws operated on Monday.

All markets, restaurants and other business outlets, including those functioning in interior regions, downed their shutters.

Though stray incidents of protestors blocking the vehicles were reported, the strike was generally peaceful in the district.

While vehicles and employees of the Health Department on duty were not affected, most offices registered very low attendance. Trade unions from fishing, cashew and plantation sectors took out marches and conducted dharnas in different parts.

Traffic resumed as usual in the evening hours and a considerable percentage of commercial establishments were also open for business after the bandh ended.

Alappuzha

The hartal was near total in the Alappuzha district.

The shutdown affected normal life in the district with shops and commercial establishments remaining shut. The attendance at government offices in the district was considerably low.

The tourism sector was affected due to fewer tourist arrivals. Majority of the houseboats did not conduct services.

KSRTC, private buses, autorickshaws and taxis stayed off road giving a harrowing time to commuters. The State Water Transport Department did not conduct its services in the district.

Idukki

Hartal was near total with shops and business establishments remaining closed in the district on Monday. Only a few private vehicles plied on the road. The works in the plantation sector was affected.

KSRTC and private buses remained off the road.

The main towns of Kattappana and Thodupusha wore a deserted look. Autorickshaws and taxis did not ply.

In the main tourism towns of Kumily and Munnar, shops remained closed and tourists mostly kept indoors. In Wagamon and Ramakkalmedu, tourism activities were at a standstill. An official of the special branch of police said that the hartal was near total and peaceful.

(With inputs from bureaus in Pathanamthitta, Kollam, Alappuzha and Idukki)


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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 1:33:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hartal-brings-life-to-a-halt/article36699151.ece

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