The All-Kerala Bus Operators’ Coordination Committee comprising five bus operators’ associations has decided not to take part in the indefinite strike announced by the All-India Transport Congress and All-India Coordination of Goods Carriage Association from Monday.
In a press meet held at Ernakulam Press Club on Thursday, representatives of the All-Kerala Bus Operators Forum, Kerala State Limited Stop Bus Operators Association, Kerala Operators Youth Federation, Thrissur Motor Transport Association and the Kannur District Cherukida Bus Operators Association said the proposed strike was unwanted. “The association should first hold talks with the government on the decision to increase the insurance rate for lorries and buses,” they said.
According to T J Raju, president, All-Kerala Bus Operators Forum, the bus operators will not be able to continue with the strike for long as they have to depend on the public for their income. “There is an increase of `5,800 in the insurance rate which is around 17 per cent higher than previous years,” he said. “We have to depend on the government to increase bus fares. The lorry operators can compensate the loss incurred during the strike by increasing the charge. Compared to the hike in diesel prices, the increase in insurance premium is a lesser burden on the bus operators,” Raju said.