The indefinite strike launched by the joint forum of auto and taxi drivers landed the public in dire straits on Thursday. Thousands of passengers who alighted at the international airport, Central railway station and bus station had to rely on buses or walk to their destinations.
Further worsening the problem, the traffic in many parts of the city was diverted for hours in the morning after a march taken out by VSDP activists to Raj Bhavan turned violent. Those who boarded buses passing via Kowdiar and Sasthamangalam had to alight at locations other than their destinations owing to the unexpected route diversion.
Passengers from other states were also affected by the strike.
Though the KSRTC operated additional services, they were insufficient to meet the requirements. KSRTC officials said additional services were operated on a demand basis. ‘’Around 70 services were operated from various depots till 7 pm. We will continue operating additional services till the strike ends,’’ said an official attached to the KSRTC traffic wing.
Traffic Police officials said the traffic snarls in the city were partly owing to the presence of a large number of private vehicles on the roads. Meanwhile, several travellers vented their ire on the government for not finding an early solution. ‘’It is imperative that the charges have to be hiked. Then why should they force the workers to resort to agitations?’’ asked Akhil Sankar K V, a college student.
Federation of Residents’ Associations Thiruvananthapuram general secretary Paraniyam Devakumar said the residents and visitors to the capital city were severely affected owing to the strike. ‘’Many areas in the city are not covered by the public transport system and hence we wish the government holds talks with the agitating workers,’’ he said.