The dawn-to-dusk vehicle strike called by major trade unions in Kerala against rising fuel prices has disrupted life and affected functioning of government, private and educational institutions in the state.
In the state’s financial capital Kochi, private buses, KSRTC buses, trucks, autorickshaws, general taxis and those run by online cab aggregators stayed off the roads, making commuting extremely difficult for those going to work or school/college. Spare parts shops and workshops are also closed today across the state. However, protesters said they will not prevent the movement of private cars and motorcycles in the state. Kochi Metro, which is operating as per schedule, has been a relief for commuters in the city.
Even though chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan held talks with INTUC and AITUC-affiliated trade unions in the KSRTC on Tuesday, they refused to budge from the strike. The RSS-affiliated BMS, however, is not part of the strike.
Examinations scheduled by the MG University for Wednesday have been postponed. However, Public Service Commission (PSC) tests will be held as scheduled.
Wednesday saw fuel prices hit a record high in the last five years. In Kochi, petrol was being sold for Rs 75.16/litre and diesel for Rs 67.70/litre.
Private bus operators in Kochi have announced they would go on an indefinite strike from January 30 demanding a fare hike in accordance with rising fuel prices.