HYDERABAD: The buses of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) remained off the roads across the state for a second consecutive day on Sunday, as employees continued their indefinite strike to press for their demands.
Commuters faced inconvenience in reaching their native places for Bathukamma and Dussehra celebrations as buses remained confined to the depots. Few buses being run by the authorities with the help of temporary drivers and other employees were unable to meet the demand.
The Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) and the Jubliee Bus Station, the two major bus stations in Hyderabad, wore a near-deserted look. The situation was no different in the bus stations in other towns.
Ignoring the government`s ultimatum to return to work by 6 p.m. on Saturday, nearly 50,000 employees continued their strike to press for their demands, the main being the merger of TSRTC with the government.
The government had warned that those failing to report to duty by 6 p.m. on Saturday will be dismissed from service. However, only 160 employees joined the work. The joint action committee (JAC) of the employee unions has declared that the strike will continue till the government accepts their demands.
TSRTC was operating 2,100 hired buses and some private buses as part of the measures to tackle the strike. In a novel protest, striking employees, including women, played Bathukamma outside the TSRTC depots. Bathukamma is the folk festival of Telangana during which women dance and sing around specially arranged flowers.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao is holding a meeting with Transport Minister P. Ajay and other senior officials to review the situation created by the ongoing strike.