Thiruvananthapuram/Shimla, Sep 2: The shutdown called by the trade unions against the central government’s economic measures on Wednesday hit the commuters most as over 2,000 state roadways buses went off road in Himachal Pradesh. In Kerala, public buses went off roads and shops and banks remained shut.
However, the Himachal government offices and educational institutions were functioning normally and there was no report of violence anywhere in the state. The impact of the shutdown was more in major towns like Shimla, Rampur, Theog, Solan, Mandi, Nahan, Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Dharamsala, Palampur, Kangra, Kullu and Manali as private bus operators also joined the protest.
An official of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation said more than 250 inter-state routes were badly hit due to the strike. “The supply of milk to the state from the neighbouring state Punjab was also hit due to the shutdown,” a police official told here. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) also joined the strike in protest against indifferent attitude of the state government towards the problems of the fruit growers.
“I arrived after completing a training programme in Hyderabad and now I have to sit here at the station till evening. When will I be able to drive home?” said a middle-aged private company official in Kozhikode in Thiruvananthapuram. All the operations at the Cochin Port were also hit.
In Kerala, 17 trade unions are taking part in the nation-wide strike to protest the anti-labour, anti-people policies of the central government. Most of the IT firms in Technopark and Infopark reported very thin attendance.
The Kerala government, however, said those government employees who will not report to work would lose the day’s salary. All examinations that were to be held on Wednesday have been postponed by the various state universities. However, the strike exempted people going for the Haj pilgrimage from the Kochi airport.