The continuing bus strike, in a state where state-run buses ferry hundreds of thousands daily, had forced more and more people to take to local trains, making them over-crowded.
The decision also came in the wake of the Madras High Court appointing an arbitrator today to settle the dispute between the government and the employees over wage revision.
Th strike intensified with family members of employees of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) joining the demonstrations. Tamil Nadu State Transport minister MR Vijayabaskar said these unions were spreading false information about the government's efforts.
The striking unions wanted the wage revision to be fixed at 2.57 times - while the state government insisted it be 2.44.
The Chief Minister stated that numerous demands made by the workers have been met and they should end their strike.
The AIADMK-backed union, besides some others, had not participated in the protests, reported NDTV.
Responding to the criticism of striking before the busy Pongal holiday period, he said, "The Transport Minister will have to solve it", essentially not giving the government in general and the minister in particular any breathing room with regards to an outcome of the discussions.
The Court also appointed Justice Padmanabhan (retired) to iron out the issues between the strikers and the management (Transport Department of the State Govt.).
There are almost 1.4 lakh workers in the TN's transport department who handle around 22,500 buses. "If the state is not bothered about public interest, we too are not bothered", counsels for the unions told the court. The unions had called for a 2.57 percent hike, to which the government offered only 2.44 percent, leading to a stalemate.
Drunk man crashes armored vehicle into Russian store, steals booze
A person living nearby was able to record the freaky crime (see above), and many people photographed the aftermath. Onlookers didn't seem particularly concerned about the sight of a military machine on the sidewalk.