In a relief to commuters across the state, private bus operators on Tuesday called off their indefinite strike demanding further increase in fares, following an appeal made by the Kerala government.

The private bus operators had gone on strike from February 16 demanding a further increase in bus fares and students concession, saying the recent hike announced by the state government was "insufficient".

The operators ended the strike considering an appeal made by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a meeting held with representatives of bus operators association in Thiruvananthapuram.

State transport minister AK Saseendran was also present at the meeting, a release from the Chief Minister's office said. After the meeting, Kerala Bus Owners Association leader T Gopinath said the government has assured to look into their demands. The CM asked us to call off the strike considering the difficulties faced by the public, he said.

The Kerala government had on February 14 announced the hike in fares of government and private buses that will come into effect from March 1. The minimum fare for an ordinary bus service was fixed at Rs 8, up from Rs 7, and for fast passenger services, the fare was revised to Rs 11 instead of Rs 10.

However, disappointed with the announcement, private bus owners launched the stir demanding a minimum a fare of Rs 10 and a 50 per cent hike in the students' concession.

Nearly 14,500 private buses that come under 12 different organisations took part in the strike. The stir had caused hardship to the public, especially in certain parts of the state which largely depend on private buses.

(With PTI inputs)