Private bus owners in Kerala call off stir

January 7th, 2010 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 7 (IANS) Private bus owners in Kerala called off their three-day-old stir Thursday after Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan assured them of looking into their demands.
Emerging after a meeting with Achuthanandan here, A.K. Abdullah, representing the coordination committee of owners, told reporters: “We have decided to suspend the strike as the chief minister has assured us that all our demands will be taken care of”.

State Transport Minister Jose Thettayil said he would hold a detailed discussion with the committee in this regard.

The move came after the Kerala High Court asked the owners to withdraw their stir Thursday. A division bench headed by Chief Justice S.R. Bannurmath had warned Wednesday that it would be forced to intervene if the government does not end the impasse as the people of the state were suffering.

The court expressed its displeasure after hearing a petition filed by a women’s organisation that the Essential Services Management Act (ESMA) be invoked to deal with the strike.

Life was affected in the state for the third day Thursday as over 30,000 private buses stayed off roads.

Private bus owners have been demanding an increase in the minimum fare from Rs.3.50 to Rs.5 and a reduction in the discount for students.

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