The indefinite strike by private buses in Kerala was called off on Sunday morning after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured that the state government would soon hike the ticket prices, the bus owners said.
The Kerala State Private Bus Operators Federation’s president, Sathyan, said the private bus owners associations were called for discussions at the Secretariat on Sunday morning by the Chief Minister, who assured them that the minimum ticket fares would be increased as sought by them.
State Road Transport Minister Antony Raju was also present at the meeting, he said.
Sathyan said the Chief Minister assured that all necessary support would be provided to the private bus owners to continue with their services and asked them to call off their strike, which had commenced three days ago on March 24.
He said that in view of the assurance given by the government, the strike was being called off for now.
The strike commenced seeking an increase in ticket fares in the wake of rising fuel prices.
The private bus owners had earlier contended that since November last year, the transport minister has been assuring them that the ticket fares would be increased, but nothing was done and therefore, they had called for the indefinite strike.
The private bus owners have demanded an increase of the minimum fare to Rs 12 and to hike the minimum concessional fare charged for students to Rs 6.
Besides, they have sought an increase in the kilometre charge from the present 90 paise to Rs 1.10 per kilometre and waiving off of the road tax for the Covid-19 pandemic period.