THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: City came to a halt in view of Bharat Bandh called in support of farmers’ protest that started in November last year against the new farm laws.Both LDF and UDF backed the bandh called by Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a farmers’ organisation, and observed hartal in the state
The capital city came to a standstill on Monday due to the hartal called in solidarity with the farmers. City’s trade unions, irrespective of political affiliations, took part in the Bharat Bandh called by Samyukt Kisan Morcha — the organisation spearheading the farmers’ strike that began in November to repeal three newly-passed farm laws.
Trade unions and several other organisations extended their full support, though private vehicles and autorikshaws were seen plying in the capital. The district witnessed dharna and peaceful protests march in every nook and corner but no untoward incidents were reported. Despite all the challenges they had to go through because of the pandemic and the extended lockdowns, traders too took part in the protest and kept the shops and commercial establishments shut.
No service by KSRTC
Though KSRTC promised to operate limited number of buses, it didn’t operate any, leaving many commuters in the lurch. Nidhin Raj, a native of Kattakada, was seen waiting for a friend at the Thampanoor bus terminal. “I had night duty and thought KSRTC would be operating services. But there is no bus. I had to call a friend. I am waiting for him,” he said.
STUCK IN HARTAL
Long-distance commuters who arrived at the Thampanoor Central railway station had a hard time getting transportation as KSRTC and private bus remained off the road. Many commuters were seen waiting for transportation. Joyce A, who came from Chennai, was caught off-guard by the hartal. “There is no bus service and my house is at Parassala. I requested help from the police but they asked me to get an autorikshaw. Now I will have to spend more to reach home,” said Joyce. Magnus K, another commuter who also arrived from Chennai, was also seen struggling to get transportation. Many had to call their family members or friends ones to pick them up from Thampanoor.
vaccination drives paused
Vaccination drives at private hospitals were hit during the 12-hour hartal. “Today was my appointment for getting the second dose of the vaccine. When I contacted the hospital they asked me to come tomorrow as they cannot administer the vaccine if people don’t turn up as per the appointment,” said Anita S.