With the government showing no inclination to consider their demands, private bus operators in Kerala are all set to go ahead with their statewide indefinite stir from June 24.
In a state, where the public is largely dependent on private transport that controls a major network of the state transport system, the strike will cripple road traffic, particularly in the northern districts, affecting office-goers and school children in a big way.
While the Kerala Private Bus Operators Federation, which has given the strike call, wants the government to renew its permits on select routes and also hike the students concession fare, the government apparently is in no mood to consider them fearing that it may severely affect the state-owned services.
"Despite the fact that the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is running on a huge loss and even unable to pay the taxes, the government wants to offer them the routes where we already have permits," says federation's district unit Secretary E Ashokan.
"The coordination committee, which also comprises the state bus owners organisation, would give a final shape to the agitation," he said.
However, the federation was still prepared for a last-minute dialogue with the government to resolve the crisis though such a move looked very unlikely, he added.