Normal life was affected in the district as public transport vehicles kept off the road in view of the day-long nationwide strike called by transport unions in protest against the proposed Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill.
The strike called by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) joint trade union committee worsened the woes of commuters and those who came from far-off places. Barring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, all the other trade unions took part in the protests.
Besides buses operated by the State-owned KSRTC, private buses, autorickshaws, taxis, and freight vehicles remained off the road, creating a semblance of a total shutdown. However, private vehicles plied without hindrance.
The City police operated shuttle services from Thampanoor to Government Medical College Hospital, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, and the Regional Cancer Centre for long-distance commuters.
While commercial establishments functioned as normal, businesses were hit owing to the difficulty in transporting perishable goods and other essential commodities. Markets, including those at Chala and Palayam, witnessed relatively low business on the day. Workshops and spare-parts shops remained closed in solidarity with the agitation.
Lack of public transport affected functioning of government offices, including the Secretariat, with low attendances being recorded, official sources said.
Educational institutions also witnessed low attendance. Many private institutions declared holiday in advance, despite examinations being under way. The University of Kerala postponed examinations scheduled for the day.
A demonstration was taken out to the office of the Accountant General, Kerala, under the aegis of the All India Road Transport Workers Federation.
Minister for Health and Social Justice K.K. Shailaja extended solidarity to the motor vehicles strike by deciding against using her official vehicle and commuting on a motorcycle.
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