Warangal: Private players roped in to the rescue of travellers

into: With the government allowing private players to ferry travellers, mostly heading to their homes on Dasara vacation, the city bus stations looked like taxi stands with scores of cars and jeeps picking passengers. In the wake of RTC staff's strike since Friday midnight, the authorities tried their best to serve the stranded travellers to their destinations by running hired buses, engaging drivers and conductors.

Despite the best efforts of the RTC authorities, only 428 of the 984 buses in the erstwhile Warangal district took to roads. The authorities had also roped in the services of 428 private drivers and 229 private conductors. The Road Transport Authority (RTA) local wing helped the RTC in hiring the drivers, it's learnt.

The RTC authorities have directed the private travel operators not to fleece the passengers by collecting hefty fares. However, there were reports that private players made hay of the RTC strike. The passengers also struggled to reach their native places.

TSRTC Warangal Regional Manager A Sridhar said that with the latest circular on recruiting drivers and conductors, a huge number of heavy vehicle drivers have reported in their respective depots to operate services in different routes. He said that they are trying their level best to ferry the people to reach their destinations.

The TSRTC Joint Action Committee (JAC) members demanded the Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar to withdraw his remarks on RTC employees. They reminded him of the time the RTC employees played a crucial role and supported the Statehood agitation. "The TRS government miserably failed to resolve the long-pending issues including the merger of the TSRTC with the government, pay revision, job security etc, the leaders said.

Meanwhile, the Warangal Commissioner of Police V Ravinder said section 144 has been imposed at the bus depots and the union leaders and employees were asked not to create any trouble to people who were heading to their native places to celebrate Dasara.

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