The privte bus strike in Kerala that had been causing inconvenience to the public for days together, was called off on Tuesday morning, days after the private bus owners went into indefinite strike demanding that the government increase the fares.
The strike, which has been going on for the past four days, was withdrawn on Tuesday after a couple of officials representing the private bus owners held a meeting with Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
The decision to call off the strike came soon after the meeting, where the CM took the tough stance of not willing to work on the demands raised by the bus operators.
Private bus operators had launched an indefinite strike from February 16 demanding that the ordinary fare be increased from Rs 7 to Rs 10.
The bus operators demanded that the ordinary bus fares be increased to Rs 10, students’ concession rate be upped by 25% and the minimum charge for students be increased from Re 1 to Rs 2. However, the government had on February 14, increased the minimum fare from Rs 7 to Rs 8, and had refused to increase other fares.
On Sunday, the bus owners had a meeting with Transport Minister AK Saseendran at his Kozhikode guesthouse. The meeting was attended by seven leaders representing 12 organisations of private bus operators. After the meeting, which lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours, the workers had decided to continue with the strike.
The bus operators had told the media after the discussion that they would not call off the strike until the government agreed to their demands.
The government had also warned the bus operators that their permits would be cancelled if they planned to continue with their strike.
The Kerala government had announced on February 14 that bus fares in the state would be hiked. The minimum fare was increased to Rs 8 for ordinary services and to Rs 11 for fast passenger services. The hike will come into effect from March 1.