Hyderabad: The stalemate over the indefinite strike by employees and workers of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation continued on the 12th day of the agitation on Wednesday, after a high-level meeting Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had with Ministers and officials remained inconclusive.
The Chief Minister, who called for the meeting in the wake of Telangana High Court’s observations on both the unions’ and government’s approach to the issue and the TJAC extending support to the agitating RTC employees, held a marathon discussion with Transport Minister P Ajay Kumar and other senior officials at Pragathi Bhavan. He is likely to continue with the meeting on Thursday. The bone of contention is the issue of merger of the corporation with the government, a possibility that the administration has ruled out.
The strike called for by the Joint Action Committee of various RTC workers and employees unions continues to affect public transport system across the State, with the government asserting that 70 per cent of the bus services were being operated with temporary drivers and conductors appointed since the start of the agitation.
Meanwhile, the 12th day of the strike led by the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) JAC saw the protesters trying different methods to keep the strike alive, even as the government continued making alternative arrangements for transportation and roped in more temporary drivers to ensure that the public were not put to any inconvenience.
RTC officials said across the State, 64 per cent of buses were operated on Wednesday. There were 6,365 buses, including 4,424 RTC and 1,941 hired buses, plying across the State.
In the Hyderabad region, 809 buses were operated, while in the Ranga Reddy region, 394 buses were in operation. From Wednesday, 1,956 buses began issuing tickets as well, while Ticket Issuing Machines were made available in 229 buses.
In the city, the impact of the strike was not visible in major bus stations, most of which saw buses driven by hired drivers transporting passengers. Complaints that private buses were charging exorbitant fares however continued to come in.
As for the strike, at the Osmania University, students under the Telangana Student Federation took out a bike rally. At Musheerabad, RTC employees protested by shaving their heads at their depot.
JAC Convenor Ashwatham Reddy claimed that the strike was now being supported by national level unions and said the workers could not be blamed for the losses suffered by the RTC.
The striking employees and trade unions have said they would take up a ‘Dhoom Dhaam’ programme on Thursday. This would be followed by a bike rally on October 18.