Auto drivers make hay while commuters fume over strike

Auto drivers make hay while commuters fume over strike
Highlights

The flash strike called by the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) on Wednesday was observed in totality across the two Telugu states leaving lakhs of passengers stranded and inconvenienced. Talks between the union leaders and the government failed to shrug off the stalemate. Thousands of passengers were stranded at the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (Imlibun), Jubilee Bus Station and other terminals.

The flash strike called by the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) on Wednesday was observed in totality across the two Telugu states leaving lakhs of passengers stranded and inconvenienced. Talks between the union leaders and the government failed to shrug off the stalemate. Thousands of passengers were stranded at the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (Imlibun), Jubilee Bus Station and other terminals.


The employees are demanding a 43 per cent salary hike on par with government servants. Nagesh Patel, state secretary, Telangana Mazdoor Union, said, “Both the chief ministers have been silent on this burning issue. We will continue the strike till our demands are met. Bus services will not be operated in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, including the buses to the hill shrine of Tirumala. As many as 28,000 buses in both the states will stay off roads until the issues are resolved.”


“Many services such as Palle Velugu, High Tech and High End AC and luxury buses including Aero Express to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport are running in losses for the past few years. The government wants to run these services without aiming for profits and no subsidy is provided by the State Government to recuperate the losses,” he added.


APSRTC managing director N Sambasiva Rao said the demand for hike in wages can be met only by increasing the bus fares by 15 to 20 per cent. The APSRTC did try to arrange for contract workers to operate buses but they couldn’t meet the rush.

Taking a cue, private transporters and auto drivers started charging a bomb from the commuters. Passengers complained that private buses started demanding Rs 200 in excess of the current price on APSRTC buses to other districts. The resultant strike also ensured that passengers spilled onto MMTS services which were crowded.

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