Private bus operators call off indefinite strike scheduled from Nov 21

Representational Image | Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The joint committee of private bus operators' associations has decided to withdraw the statewide indefinite strike scheduled from November 21 after holding talks with Transport Minister Antony Raju. Representatives of the committee officially announced the decision in a press meeting held here on Tuesday.

During the talks with the bus operators, the government asserted that a decision on revising the students' concession rate would be taken only after studying the Ravi Raman Commission Report. The minister also promised to re-examine its order related to limited stop and ordinary buses.

According to reports, the transport minister has agreed to retain the bus permit for distances above 140 kilometres as demanded by the bus owners. At the same time, he refused to cancel the order making seat belts mandatory for all bus drivers in the state. 

On October 31, the Kerala Private Bus Owners' Federation observed a token strike raising various demands including a hike in students' concession rate and withdrawal of an order demanding mandatory installation of surveillance cameras and seat belts inside the buses. 

Bus owners had declared that they would go on an indefinite strike from November 21 if the government failed to meet their demands. When the owners called for a strike on October 31, the Motor Vehicle Department revised its order making seatbelts and surveillance cameras mandatory in all heavy vehicles including buses from November 1. As per the revised order, only those vehicles being produced for fitness examination after November 1 need to adhere to the stipulation.

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