HYDERABAD: Transport services in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh came to a halt as a two-day ‘rail blockade’ and strike by auto-rickshaws began Saturday morning, adding to the woes of people already reeling under the impact of protest by the state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC).
In an unprecedented situation, commuters have no access to any mode of public transport.
As over 10,000 RTC buses remained off the roads in Hyderabad and nine other districts of the region for the sixth day, all trains were cancelled for Saturday and Sunday.
Moreover, 500,000 auto-rickshaws also joined the ‘people’s strike’ demanding a separate Telangana state. Over 60,000 three-wheelers in Hyderabad are participating in the strike.
South Central Railway (SCR) cancelled over 72 express and 264 passenger trains originating from or coming to Telangana or passing through the region.
"In view of some incidents that took place during similar protests earlier, we are not operating train services this time," said SCR chief public relations officer K. Sambasiva Rao.
Leaders and activists of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) squatted on railway tracks at hundreds of places across the region.
Leaders of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Communist Party of India-ML New Democracy squatted on the track at Kazipet in Warangal district, the main junction connecting south and north India.
The railways have cancelled all 222 (Multi-Modal Transport System) services or local trains in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and 102 DHMU (Diesel Hydraulic Multiple Unit) trains in other parts of Telangana.
The SCR authorities have also short terminated, diverted and rescheduled many long-distance trains in the north-south and east-west corridors. The rail link between Hyderabad and rest of Telangana and also between the state capital and other regions of Andhra Pradesh has completely snapped.
All the trains between Hyderabad and destinations like like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Guwahati, Patna, Rajkot and Balharshah have been cancelled.
Hundreds of policemen, personnel of railway police and central paramilitary forces were deployed at stations to protect railway property.
Secunderabad and Nampally (Hyderabad) railway stations — two of the busiest railway stations in south India — wore a deserted look.
All the trains were cancelled from Friday midnight while some long-distance trains coming to Hyderabad were stopped earlier in the day.(IANS)