All eyes on Telangana High Court verdict: No merger, govt clarifies to HC

Highlights

  • HC says strike not a solution to the problem
  • Prof Kodandaram says the merger is the only solution to RTC problem
  • All employees’ unions pass four resolutions
  • RTC strike on Centre’s radar

Hyderabad: The TRS government has clarified to the High Court that there would not be any merger of RTC with the government. Since the High Court’s judgment is expected by Thursday, all sections of society are curious over the outcome and how the ongoing strike takes shape.

The High Court on Tuesday resumed the hearing on the ongoing RTC strike. The RTC JAC informed the Court that it’s firm on merger with the state government. The High Court questioned the RTC employees what would they do if the state government invokes ESMA. The Court also asked the state government on why it extended the Dussehra holidays. The HC took serious note on the inconvenience caused to passengers as over 4,000 RTC buses remain at depots.

 “Observing strike, particularly during the festive season, is not advisable. At the same time, the strike is not a solution for everything. Employees should explore other alternatives to get their demands resolved, while not causing inconvenience to the passengers. Going for a strike during the festive season would be very sensitive. What would RTC employees do if the strike is declared as illegal? It’s better to resolve the problems through discussions. Why did the state government extend Dussehra holidays? How can the government arrange for 4,000 drivers at short notice? First of all, the government should appoint a full-fledged MD for TSRTC,” suggests High Court.

Telangana Advocate General informed the HC that all suggestions would be carried to the state government. Responding to this, the HC said, “The state government should submit a report on what measures are taken to resolve the RTC problem before October 18.”

“IF RTC is merged with the government, then other corporation would start demanding for their merger, informed the state government. The TSRTC management is operating 75 per cent buses, and remaining buses will be put to service within few days,” Telangana government informed the HC.

RTC strike under Centre’s lens

The Centre is watching the RTC strike, said BJP-Telangana unit president Dr K Laxman. “BJP supports RTC employees. Our party is committed to protecting lands and properties of TSRTC and rights of employees,” he added.

Strike continues: Ashwathama Reddy

The JAC of RTC unions has once again clarified that strikes would continue until the state government accepts all demands. “Under any circumstance, we’ll never compromise on our demands. The TRS government should honour all our demands, which we’re assured by the Chief Minister earlier,” said Reddy.

All employees’ unions met at TNGO Bhavan on Tuesday evening and passed four resolutions. The meeting agreed to extend support to the ongoing TSRTC strike, sending TNGO president Karam Ravinder Reddy to the Chief Minister for discussing the demands.

The other two points under the resolution are reinstating all employees and discussing with the CM on problems of state government employees along with RTC staff. TNGO leader Ravinder Reddy said he would meet the Chief Secretary on RTC strike.

KCR to address Huzurnagar meeting on Thursday

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will be addressing a public meeting at Huzurnagar on Thursday. High Court judgement is expected before the TRS Supremo’s meeting. Speculation and curiosity gripped the state on a possible outcome from the High Court and how it would impact KCR’s public meeting.

Is it heading towards another ‘Sakala Janula Samme’?

Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) Chief Professor Kodandaram said that CM says merger issue is not in the manifesto. “I question whether privatisation was in the manifesto? State government should honour reimbursement to the RTC through several types of subsidies and concessions to different sections of the society. Later, every year, the RTC management is forced to request the state government for the release of reimbursement amount. To make reimbursement process regular and hassle-free, the merger with state government came to light,” said Kodandaram.

He opined that the state government should hold discussions on what demands can be met and can’t be met. “Then, we can explore alternative measures for other demands. Some influential people are encroaching RTC lands for shopping complex, multiplex and other commercial ventures. The TRS government seems to be heading towards privatisation. The privatisation of routes will be inhuman and injustice to society. There’s also a plan to pocket subsidy amount from the Centre by deploying electric buses in private routes,” further added Kodandaram.

Now, the TRS government is hiring private drivers into RTC service temporarily. “Several minor accidents and disturbance to traffic are clearly showing the inefficiency of the part-time drivers. Another problem would be the future of these ad-hoc employees after the strike is over. Will the government make the employees regular,” he questions.

Dasari Sreenivasa Rao

Dasari Sreenivasa Rao is a freelance journalist with 26 years of mainstream media experience in Hyderabad and Dubai. He was Business Editor at The Pioneer and Spl Correspondent at Deccan Chronicle and The Hans India. Earlier, he worked for prestigious media brands including ToI, Indian Express (Bombay) and SPG Media and Business Standard in Hyderabad. NSE-qualified Dasari specializes in derivatives trading. He was visiting faculty at IGNOU and handled two batches of journalism students. Dasari is passionate about business journalism and always suggests all to practice rigorous meditation that ensures peace of mind and helps in moving up the value chain.

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