KOCHI: The 24-hour general strike called by various trade unions in protest against the Centre's decision to extend fixed-term employment in all sectors paralysed the city on Monday.Almost all shops, hotels and offices remained closed. KSRTC and private buses, autorickshaws and taxi services kept off the road, causing inconvenience to the public.
A few private vehicles which hit the road did face some sort of resistance with trade union members trying to stop them at various places in the city, including Kakkanad and on MG Road.Many commuters who came from various places in long-route buses were stranded at the KSRTC bus station. The strike also left many passengers and tourists stranded at the city railway stations. A German couple arrived at the Ernakulam Jn railway station early on Monday morning to leave for Munnar only to find there will be no bus services.
Since the online taxi charges were very high, they chose to wait at the railway station until buses resumed service.People who had booked flight tickets months ago to leave for workplaces after the long Easter weekend were also affected. "I live at Edathua in Alappuzha and work in Hyderabad. I'd booked a ticket to Hyderabad a month ago.
To catch the flight scheduled for Monday noon, I had to leave my house on Sunday night itself and I couldn't take part in most of the celebrations.Since it is a 24-hour strike, I had to reach the airport several hours before my actual flight time," said Joel Thomas Mathews, a passenger.With less number of taxis on the road and high demand, there was surge pricing for online cabs.Some online taxis had to cancel trips following protests by trade unions.