Hyderabad: The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) buses remained off the roads in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana for a fifth consecutive day on Wednesday as employees geared up to further intensify the strike.
Few buses were seen plying on the roads in the state capital. The daily commuters continue to face a tough time in reaching their destinations.
Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) and Jubliee Bus Station (JBS), two biggest bus stations in Hyderabad wore a near deserted-look.
Most of the 10,400 buses of the state-owned utility remained confined to depots across the state as over 48,000 employees stayed away from duties.
TSRTC authorities were operating skeletal services with the help of temporary drivers and other employees.
With Wednesday also being a holiday for many, the impact of the strike was not severe. However, those returning to Hyderabad from villages across the state and in neighboring Andhra Paresh after the Dussehra were facing hardships due to the cancellation of the bus services.
The commuters in Hyderabad and major towns like Nizamabad, Karimnagar, and Warangal may face more problems from Thursday when the colleges re-open after Bathukamma and Dussehra holidays.
Unfazed by the government’s announcement that 48,000 employees were dismissed for not joining the duties before the expiry of the October 6 deadline, the striking employees have vowed to intensify the stir.
Leaders of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of TSRTC unions have called an all-party meeting in Hyderabad later in the day to decide the future course of action.
Leaders of other unions of employees and teachers have also been invited to attend the meeting.
The opposition parties have taken a strong exception to the manner in which the government is handling the issue. They termed as undemocratic the actions of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who has not only ruled out taking back striking employees but has rejected their demand for the merger of TSRTC with the government.
Ruling out any talks with the unions, KCR has asked officials to go for recruitment of new employees. He has even decided on the trifurcation of TSRTC. While 50 percent of the bus fleet will be owned and managed by TSRTC, another 30 percent will be hired buses and 20 percent private buses.
The JAC has condemned the government’s action and said this would lead to the destruction of TSRTC.