After a 48-hour strike known as by commerce unions of the Kerala State Highway Transport Bus Company (KSRTC) led to virtually full suspension of companies, commuters within the state should now brace for one more strike, this time by personal bus operators.
An indefinite strike known as by the Kerala State Personal Bus Operators Federation, which is beginning on November 9 midnight, is anticipated to trigger immense hardship for commuters, particularly within the rural areas.
Nevertheless, a glimmer of hope stays as state transport minister Antony Raju is holding talks with the federation officers late on Monday night time on the Nattakam visitor home in Kottayam. The strike could also be known as off if the result of the talks is profitable.
The bus operators, reeling from the consequences of the steep hike in gas costs and the drastic fall in patronage because of Covid lockdowns, have a slew of calls for earlier than the state authorities.
The principal demand is that minimal bus fares, at the moment at Rs 8, have to be hiked to Rs 12, after which the costs needs to be Re 1 per kilometre. They’ve additionally demanded that bus fares for college students needs to be elevated to Rs 6.
The operators additionally need the highway tax to be waived off in the course of the pandemic and diesel subsidies from the federal government.
Based on unofficial estimates, there are over 12,000 personal buses in Kerala, together with inter-district companies.