Thiruvananthapuram: The daylong motor strike against excessive fuel taxes paralysed life in the state on Wednesday.
Taxis, autos, private buses, lorries and tanker lorries stayed off the road, and KSRTC workers' unions also joined them disregarding chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan's call to help run its services.
Though KSRTC managing director A. Hemachandran ordered to operate maximum services with police protection, only a few buses were on the road.
Private vehicles and essential services like milk, newspapers, ambulance and hospitals were exempted.
Workshops and spare-part shops also remained closed in solidarity to the Motor Vyavasaya Samrakshana Samithi and trade unions.
Though universities had postponed exams, PSC exams were held as per schedule. In most places, auto-rickshaws and taxis stayed off the roads causing hardships to office-goers and people arriving at railway stations across the state.
Kochi Metro, which operated as per schedule, provided relief to commuters in the city.
Passengers stranded at the railway stations found it difficult to reach their destinations. Arrangements were made by police to transport patients and bystanders to Regional Cancer Centre and other hospitals.
The strike did not affect the functioning of commercial establishments, including hotels and eateries. However, most offices had a thin attendance. Schools remained closed.
With the state assembly in session, many ministers, including T. P. Ramakrishnan and K. T. Jaleel, walked leaving their cars.
The strike had its echo in the state assembly with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan blaming the wrong taxing policies of the Centre while replying to a submission by CPM MLA P. K. Sasi.
The state government has not increased taxes other than the cess
introduced during the previous Congress-led UDF rule, he said while rejecting the UDF opposition charge that the state was also responsible for the price rise.