KERALA

Motor strike hits normal life

Lean day: It seems the motor strike on Tuesday had not spared even the fortune teller on the MG Road in the city. –

Lean day: It seems the motor strike on Tuesday had not spared even the fortune teller on the MG Road in the city. –   | Photo Credit: Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar

City Bureau

‘Bandh-like’ situation prevails in district

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dawn-to-dusk State-wide strike by motor transport workers and taxi and autorickshaw drivers on Tuesday in protest against the hike in the price of petrol and diesel, paralysed the normal life in the district.

A ‘bandh-like’ situation prevailed in the capital district as private buses, taxies, autorickshaws, lorries and mini-lorries kept off the road in response to the strike call by the KSRT Employees Association, private bus workers unions and the joint coordination committee of the taxi and autorickshaw unions.

Attendance was thin in the government offices as the public transport system came to a grinding halt. Most of the educational institutions remained closed. The annual examinations in schools and the university examinations were postponed on account of stir.

Shops and business establishments downed their shutters. Medical shops and petrol pumps of Civil Supplies Corporation functioned as usual and long queues were seen in front of them.

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation’s effort to operate the long distance services was not successful as protestors blocked the buses at many bus stations in the State. Around 20 per cent of the KSRTC staff reported for duty, a KSRTC official said.

The KSRTC could operate only 250 services in the State. In the capital, the KSRTC could not operate the regular city services. The corporation suffered a loss of Rs.3 crore on account of the strike.

Those who arrived in trains at Thiruvananthapuram Central Station and by flights at Thiruvananthapuram International Airport after the strike began got stranded.

The strike was marred by stray incidents of violence in the district.

Strike supporters damaged the windowpanes of a village office at Malayankeezhu in the early hours. The Rural police booked four Left Democratic Front activists on the charge of violating the Prevention of Public Property Destruction Act. They said the agitators attempted to forcibly close the village office.

The supporters of the stir blockaded KSRTC depots to prevent stage-carriage and long-distance service operations. The police had to remove the agitators from several depots, including Vithura and Trivandrum central. Strike supporters blocked the buses carrying VSSC employees to the institution’s prime facility at Thumba. The police later removed those who had staged a sit-in on the Kazhakuttom-Thumba road.

In the city, strike supporters attempted to disrupt stage-carriage and inter-State long-distance services at Thampanoor and the Music College junction. They attacked an autorickshaw carrying passengers at Poonthura. In several places in the city and suburbs, the supporters of the stir blocked private cars and two-wheelers.

The police said they provided escorts to buses transporting passengers to the airport from Thampanoor and Technopark.

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