Hyderabad: Buses of the state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation stayed off the roads across the state as unions went on an indefinite strike demanding fulfilment of their demands, putting commuters to hardship.
This comes after talks between the three-member committee of the state government and the RTC unions made no headway. The stir left hundreds of passengers stranded at bus stations across Telangana.
The employees' unions have been demanding merger of the RTC with the government, recruitment to various posts, job security to drivers and conductors, implementation of Pay Scale Revision 2017 recommendations, removal of taxes on diesel among others.
Terming the strike as "illegal," the state government had on Friday night resolved to recognise only those who report to duty by 6 pm on Saturday as RTC employees and others as giving up their jobs voluntarily.
An official release alsosaid a decision was taken not to take back under any circumstances those do not report for duty by 6 pm today. The Union leaders said they decided to go on strike after government 'failed' to meet their demands including merger of the corporation with the government.
They said several notices with regard to the strike were given to the government earlier. Even as buses were confined to various depots in Hyderabad and across the state, the TSRTC Joint Action Committee (JAC) members staged protests on Saturday raising slogans against the state government.
Noting that alternate arrangements were being made to enable public reach their respective destinations, TSRTC officials said 30 per cent services on long distance routes was restored. Private busses were also hired and the process to recruit drivers and conductors on temporary basis was underway, they said.
Claiming that the strike was successful, TSRTC Union leaders said, "reports that bus services are not hit due to the strike was wrong." If any untoward incident occurs while operating bus services with the help of inexperienced staff, the state government has to take the responsibility, they said.
TSRTC-JAC leaderAshwathama Reddy said the strike was "total" and all the workers took part in it voluntarily. Meanwhile, Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited Managing Director N V S Reddysaid in order to cater to the extra rush of passengers, metro trains were running extra hours with some starting from 5 am onwards and the last one leaving the terminal at 11.30 pm and reaching the other stations at around 12.30 am.
Similarly, frequency of trains was being increased to three minutes during peak hours and five minutes or as per the requirement during non peak hours, he said. Additional ticket counters, machines and manpower were being arranged at busy stations.
"Almost all stations are experiencing more commuters, but crowd is manageable so far and will remain so today and tomorrow. However, Monday will be a challenge if strike continues. Additional Special teams and extra personnel will be mobilised for Monday," Reddy said....