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Hyderabad: The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) has incurred a loss of about 200 crore in over a month due to the ongoing strike by its employees. The strike, which began on 5 October, has increased TSRTC's daily operational loss from about 2 crore to 5.5-6.0 crore, said a senior official, requesting anonymity.

"The corporation suffers losses on a daily basis, but now, because of the strike, only about 60% of our 10,400 buses are functioning, due to which the losses have increased," the TSRTC official told Mint. He said it was unlikely that the state government will give in to the primary demand of TSRTC unions - to merge the autonomous organisation with the government.

Union leaders have remained firm on their demand despite Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao categorically saying that TSRTC will not be merged into the state government. On Friday, the strike entered its 42nd day.

The TSRTC official said the state-run corporation suffers a loss of about 900 crore a year and that a major chunk of it has to do with fuel expenses. "Diesel prices have been increasing regularly, while our fares were last revised in 2016, so it has been about 3.5 years since that happened. A price hike in tickets is needed," he added.

The official also said the state government has been using the provident fund money of TSRTC employees to pay employee salaries and for other purposes, which is another reason why TSRTC unions are up in arms against the state government.

"The salaries of employees were revised in 2015 and once again after that. Prior to this, employees usually got whatever they demanded for when they went on strike. But it is not likely to happen this time," the TSRTC official said.

Ignoring an ultimatum given by the chief minister to employees to join back work by 5 November, only 400 TSRTC employees have resumed work.

Rao on 2 November announced that 5,100 private vehicles will be given permits to operate on TSRTC routes to make up for the shortfall in public buses.

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