Rail blockade ends in Telangana, road transport still paralysed

September 25th, 2011 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Telangana Hyderabad, Sep 25 (IANS) The two-day rail blockade and strike by auto rickshaws in in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh ended Sunday evening but the buses of state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) remained off the roads for the seventh day.

The Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), which is spearheading the movement for separate Telangana state, called off the two-day rail blockade at 6 p.m. Sunday and auto rickshaws also returned on streets in Hyderabad and nine other districts of the region, providing some relief to people reeling under a “people’s strike” since Sep 13.

While protestors have ended their protest on the tracks, it may take few hours for railways to restore normal services. The South Central Railway (SCR) has rescheduled many trains due to the strike. Thousands of commuters remained stranded in various cities and towns across the state for last two days.

Earlier, railway stations in Hyderabad and nine other districts of the region wore a deserted look as the railways cancelled all the trains.

Protesters demanding separate statehood to Telangana Sunday morning returned to the tracks near almost all the railway stations annd continued staging the cook and dine protest. They were also playing games and participating in cultural programmes.

At some places like in Nalgonda, activists of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) spent the night, and had a bath and breakfast on the tracks only.

Hyderabad and the rest of Telangana remained cut off from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions as both trains and buses did not ply.

Thousands of commuters remained stranded in cities like Vijayawada, Guntur, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati due to cancellation of all trains and buses.

The SCR cancelled over 72 express and 264 passenger trains in the region Saturday and Sunday.

The railways have cancelled all 222 Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) services or local trains in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and 102 Diesel Hydraulic Multiple Unit (DHMU) trains in other parts of Telangana.

Over 500,000 auto rickshaws had also remained off the roads for second day.

Over 10,000 RTC buses remained off the roads for the seventh day.

With no mode of transport available, people are had a harrowing time. The employees of IT companies in Cyberabad, the IT cluster in the state capital, also had a tough time in reaching the offices.

“People’s strike” at the state-owned Singareni Collieries paralyzed coal production for the 13th day Sunday.

It threw the generation and supply of electricity out of gear and affected business and industry.

The offer of double wages for Singareni workers for one day’s work improved attendance to 65 percent in Khammam district but the employees in three other districts continued the strike.

Meanwhile, JAC has given a call for closure of industries and strike in all central public sector undertakings on Monday.

The government teachers, who are already on strike with all government employees, also decided to intensify the agitation from Monday. Leaders of various unions of employees and teachers met JAC convenor M. Kodandaram and TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao Sunday to chalk out future course of action.

The government succeeded in conducting the Group I main exams of Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) in five cities including in Hyderabad and Warangal amid tight security on the first day Sunday.

Telangana groups had threatened to disrupt the exams, which will continue till Oct 3.

The government had earlier rejected the demand of Telangana groups to postpone the exam.

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