Private bus strike called off
Kochi: The indefinite strike announced on Sunday by private bus operators in the State to protest against the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) directive for installing speed governors on all heavy vehicles has been called off.
The decision was taken followed by talks between the government and the bus operators through mediators Monday morning. As per reports, the government has assured the bus operators that it will hear them once Transport Minister Aryadan Muhammad returns from Delhi.
The strike had hit the normal life in the State as private buses despite party affiliations stayed off the roads. Though the KSRTC had announced that it would deploy more buses to ease the difficulty, people were seen depending on autorikshaws and other taxies doing shuttle services early morning.
Commuters across the state are heavily dependent on private bus services as the state-owned transport corporation has just 5,803 buses while the non-government sector operates 46,620 vehicles.
Since a bus accident in Malappuram district claimed 14 lives on Friday afternoon, law-enforcing authorities have launched extensive checking of buses and have cancelled the certificates of more than 300 vehicles.
“We are not against implementation of the law…If the government invites us for talks, we will certainly go for it,” the Private Bus Operators’ Association had said.
Meanwhile, many private bus owners have already started installing the speed governors and a heavy rush was witnessed in Kannur where about a dozen private buses had come to a workshop for getting the device fitted.
Bus owners pointed out that there are about 15 certified company products but just four companies supplying it in the state and hence they require at least three months’ time for installing speed governors in all the vehicles.
With the Onam festival round the corner, sources in the government said adequate time would be given to the bus owners so that they can comply with the rule.