New Delhi: Scores of passengers were stranded at bus stations across Telangana on Saturday as the buses of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) went off the roads following an indefinite strike called by Joint Action Committee (JAC) of TSRTC employees. Reports claimed that people travelling to their destinations for Dasara and Bathukamma festivals faced severe inconvenience as over 10,000 buses remained confined to the bus depots.

To deal with the strike, authorities were running skeletal services by using 2,100 hired buses.  They had also deployed temporary drivers and other workers. Besides, buses of some schools were also pressed into service for the convenience of passengers.

Earlier on Saturday, the Joint Action Committee of TSRTC employees decided to go on strike after talks with the three-member committee formed by the government failed to find a solution. Notably, the JAC insisted on a written assurance on their main demand for merger of the TSRTC with the government but the panel comprising three IAS officials said they would go into the subject and submit a report to the government, which will take a final decision.

Meanwhile, the government has declared the strike illegal and warned that those not returning to duties by 6 PM on Saturday will be dismissed from service. Those who don’t report by 6 p.m. Saturday will be deemed to have given up jobs on their own, said an official statement after Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao held a review meeting with Transport Minister and top officials.

However, the JAC said that they were not afraid of the government threats to dismiss striking employees from service and claimed that 50,000 employees of TSRTC are participating in the strike.

(With agency inputs)