Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister and TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao again presented magic of winning Telangana residents’ hearts, while keeping opposition parties at bay. After raising voice against the TRS government during the strike period, 49,000 TSRTC employees, are now busy praising KCR, who announced several sops to the staff. The RTC employees had gone on a 52-day strike, which they voluntarily called off. In turn, KCR asked employees to transform TSRTC into a Rs 1,000 crore profit-making entity, while assuring that no private bus will be allowed on any single route.
“Work sincerely. Don’t come under the evil influence of unions. The state government is always there to support TSRTC and its employees. You all should work in such a manner so that you will get a bonus on the lines of Singareni employees,” said KCR.
As Chief Minister KCR announced, TSRTC staff will be getting the September salary on Monday (December 2) in addition to being paid for the strike period as well.
As many as 750 staff, including five employees from each depot across Telangana, participated in a luncheon meeting at Pragati Bhavan on Sunday. During the two-hour session, KCR interacted with the employees and assured them of the state government’s full support. The TRS Supremo asked them to work hard to put TSRTC back on the track of profits. Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar, TSRTC in-charge MD Sunil Sharma, advisor to Telangana government Rajiv Sharma, executive directors and other senior officials also took part in the meeting.
Bringing the announcements into implementation, KCR immediately issued orders on the spot. The boons include enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60 years, Rs 1,000-crore budgetary allocation to TSRTC every year, and fee reimbursement to children’s education and housing facility to all employees.
The Chief Minister further suggested that TSRTC take up parcel transport service to enhance revenues. TSRTC management will recognise all RTC workers as employees with total job security. No elections will be held for recognising trade unions for the next two years, clarified the Chief Minister. The latter had already announced a job for the family of the deceased employee in addition to Rs 2 lakh ex gratia. KCR further assured regularisation of temporary employees in TSRTC.
Demanding merger with the state government, TSRTC employees went on strike on October 5, and JAC withdrew from the agitation on November 25 evening. During the 52-day strike period and three-day silent period, as the TRS government didn’t initially accept employees, as many as 30 drivers and conductors died due to either heart attack, committing suicide or panic-driven depression, etc.
Ever since the strike took off, KCR never yielded to the mounting pressure when the opposition parties extended their support to the agitation. Moreover, the Chief Minister termed the striking employees as self-dismissed, while inviting tenders for privatisation of routes. KCR had been cautioning employees to come out of the evil influence of unions and JAC. KCR even proposed a revival plan comprising buses of TSRTC, hired, and private individuals in 50:30:20 ratio.
After 41 days of the strike, JAC dropped its primary demand of merger with state government from the list of 26 requirements. After JAC announced the total calling off on Monday evening, the TSRTC management didn’t allow employees to resume work. After the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, the TRS government allowed employees to continue duty from Friday morning onwards.