State Buses Remain Off Roads in Telangana

Hyderabad, Sep 20 (IANS): Public road transport services remained paralyzed in Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region for the second consecutive day Tuesday as the employees of the state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) continued their strike to press for a separate Telangana state.

Over 10,000 buses remained inside the 89 depots in Hyderabad and in nine other districts of the region as about 60,000 employees stayed away from their duties as part of 'sakala janula samme', or general strike, by all sections of workers in the region demanding a separate Telangana state.

Bus services between Telangana and other regions (coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema) remained suspended. Thousands of commuters who travel between Hyderabad and cities like Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Kurnool and Tirupati were stranded.

Employees' unions claimed that the strike is total and not a single bus has come out of the depots for the second consecutive day.

The Joint Action Committee comprising all the unions has called for staging protests outside the depots and also for laying siege to Bus Bhavan, the RTC headquarters here.

According to RTC Managing Director Prasada Rao, the strike is causing a loss of Rs.7 crore every day.

The strike is causing severe inconvenience to commuters in Hyderabad as all city bus services have been suspended. Taking advantage of this, private vehicles, cabs, auto rickshaws are charging exorbitant fares.

Under tight security provided by police and with the help of some retired employees, the RTC management is operating a few buses between Secunderabad and other key destinations in the city.

Though the government has already brought transport services under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), which enables it to ban strikes, it has not yet taken any action against the striking employees.

Officials hope that the employees will call off the strike Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the strike by government employees, teachers and workers of Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) entered the eighth day Tuesday.

The administration remained crippled while all government schools were also closed.

The coal production in 50 mines spread over four districts in Telangana also remained paralyzed due to the strike by SCCL employees.


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Title: State Buses Remain Off Roads in Telangana

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