Commuters in Kerala, relying on public transport to reach their destinations, will have a tough time on Tuesday with major road transport unions taking part in a strike to protest provisions of the Motor Vehicle (MV) Amendment bill and continued rise in fuel and petroleum products. The protesters are demanding the hike in insurance premiums to be withdrawn and less fluctuation in the prices of petroleum products.
The 24-hour strike, which began at Tuesday midnight, will see all major modes of transport including state transport (KSRTC) buses, private buses, auto-rickshaws, taxis and online cabs going off the roads. Driving schools and automobile showrooms are also shutting down as part of the strike. All major KSRTC unions like CITU, AITUC and INTUC are taking part in the strike to express their displeasure with the state government regarding the payment of dearness allowance (DA) and revision of salaries. A meeting between the KSRTC management and the employees’ unions did not materialise in a positive outcome. BMS is not participating in the strike.
Police personnel in major cities like Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram are set to operate their vehicles to ferry stranded commuters at bus stands and railway stations. In every district, strict vigilance will be maintained to ensure shops and establishments are not forcibly made to shut down by those in support of the strike. In Kochi, the operation of Metro train services will provide much relief to those travelling between Aluva and the city.
All major examinations by Kerala, MG, Kannur and Calicut universities have been re-scheduled.