A strike call by a Telangana employees' union of the state-run road transport corporation (RTC) brought public transport to a standstill across the region on Monday.
Supporting the statehood demand, the union members did not allow about 8,000 RTC buses to run, causing a loss of Rs7 crore to the corporation.
The loss adds to the hundreds of crores of revenue Andhra Pradesh is losing since September 13 due to widespread support of government officials from the region for the Sakalajanula Samme (all-sector strike) called by the Telangana Joint Action Committee.
The protests have also threatened the power supply in the state. A strike at the Singareni Collieries, a mine supplying coal for power production, continued for the seventh day. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi organised 12-hour blockades at roads to costal Andhra and Rayalaseema and to other states.
State chief secretary SV Prasad told HT, "Government work and the state's growth is suffering. We are installing remedial measures but the actual loss - human resources and otherwise - is serious. And on how many employees can we impose the ESMA (Essential Service Maintenance Act)?"
Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary, a senior leader from Telangana, said in Delhi, "...Pressure cannot force us to take a decision on Telangana and we cannot go on dividing the country because somebody is on strike. It is better to be safe than sorry."
Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Congress in-charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, is expected to submit his report on the Telangana demand to the party high command by the end of the month.