Few state-run buses return on Telangana roads



Hyderabad: A few buses Tuesday returned on roads in parts of Telangana after 22 days as a section of employees of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) called off their strike.

More buses were seen on the roads of Hyderabad and its twin city of Secunderabad. Except in Khammam, Karimnagar and Nalgonda districts, where some buses came out of depots, no bus was plying in six other districts.

Striking employees of the state-owned APSRTC and Telangana activists were staging protests outside the depots in districts like Adilabad, Nizamabad and Warangal to stop authorities from plying the buses.

The corporation officials hoped that more buses would return to roads with police security later in the day. Its managing director Prasada Rao is hopeful of total restoration of services in two to three days.

The National Mazdoor Union (NMU), the largest union of APSRTC employees, had Monday announced calling off the strike in view of the inconvenience to people.

The announcement by NMU leader Mehmood Ali, however, led to a split in the union with some leaders from Telangana floating a separate body and deciding to continue the strike.

The Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), which is leading the Telangana movement, has also announced that the strike by APSRTC employees is on and there is no question of withdrawal till the central government makes a clear-cut statement on carving out separate state.

About 10,000 corporation buses were off the roads in Telangana for 22 days.

The NMU claims to represent majority of 60,000 employees in the region.

An APSRTC official said bus services were yet to be restored between Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana.

However, the corporation Monday night plied over 250 buses from Hyderabad to cities like Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Kurnool and Tirupati in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

"The buses will again be operated tonight (Tuesday night) between Hyderabad and some destinations in Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra)," said an official at Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station, the largest in Hyderabad.

IANS