Tamil Nadu

Kerala bandh hits Theni workers

A 24-hour State-wide bandh in Kerala, called by the CPI-M, completely paralysed all activities in cardamom estates in Idukki district, leaving thousands of estate workers in the Theni district jobless.

However, pilgrims’ vehicles proceeding to Sabarimala from various parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were allowed to pass through the district.

The bandh was called against the decision of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to turn Western Ghats into ecologically sensitive areas.

Police personnel were deployed at Lower Camp to regulate pilgrims’ vehicles. They stopped pilgrims’ vehicles at the Lower Camp check-post and sent them in small batches to ensure safe travel. All vehicles coming from Sabarimala too were allowed to cross the Kumuli check-post to reach Tamil Nadu.

Pilgrims in Kerala struggled for food and other items as all shops and hotels remained closed since dawn. The number of vehicles going to Kerala through Theni district too came down owing to the bandh, said police officials. (Pilgrims had faced similar troubles in December 2011 owing to an indefinite strike relating to the Mullaiperiyar dam issue.)

Following clear instructions from Idukki police and local partymen, all jeep, van and cab operators did not operate their services in and around the area. Corporation and private buses were operated till district borders only.

A majority of estate workers in Theni district did not go for work as there was no transport facility. Over 500 jeeps and vans that were carrying workers to estates in Kerala were off the road, said P. Iyyappan, president, Jeep and Van Operators Association.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 9:07:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/kerala-bandh-hits-theni-workers/article5364997.ece

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