With all city buses staying off the road and most MMTS trains cancelled due to the Telangana bandh, many commuters were put to inconvenience in the capital on Saturday. Most hit were passengers who arrived in the city through long-distance trains at the Secunderabad and Kacheguda railway stations.
Many schools, colleges and other educational institutes had declared a holiday. Office-goers, especially bank employees, had tough time in reaching their work places. A few auto unions had also extended their support to the bandh.
With public transport remaining off the road, people were forced to depend on autorickshaws and personal transport. However, even this was a tough task for many as traffic diversions were imposed on many routes till late into the afternoon.
Taking advantage, a few auto drivers fleeced passengers, demanding exorbitant fares at railway stations. Citing traffic restrictions and bandh, auto drivers demanded Rs.120 from Secunderabad to Tarnaka against the regular fare of Rs.75. There was no option but to heed to their demands, lamented J. Narsimha Rao, a passenger.
From morning, RTC employees began demonstrations in front of their respective depots, and made sure all the buses remained off roads. Due to the bandh, the RTC Greater Hyderabad zone suffered a revenue loss of about Rs.2 crore on Saturday.
The Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station and the Jubilee Bus Station wore a deserted look as many district buses did not arrive at the stations.
Though the South Central Railway (SCR) had initially announced that MMTS trains would operate as per schedule, authorities later cancelled about 75 MMTS trains on the Secunderabad-Hyderabad, Secunderabad-Lingampally and Hyderabad-Lingampally routes till 9 p.m. on Saturday. Revenue loss as a result of the cancellations were estimated at Rs. 3 lakh, an SCR spokesperson said.