Hyderabad: At the all-party meeting with the Road Transport Corporation (RTC), unions announced to intensify the strike, they reiterated their stand on their demands. The clampdown on road transport entered its fifth day on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao who termed the employees observing strike as ‘self-dismissed’, ordered the Road transport Corporation to speed up recruitment.
TSRTC opened 19 special to AP destinations from Hyd on 10.4.19. This is in addition to around 300 regular buses from Hyd. Daily 657 buses are in operation from different parts of TS to AP destinations. More buses will be pressed as per demand. PL logon to https://t.co/VviTMvGMoy— TSRTC (@TSRTCHQ) March 26, 2019
TSRTC opened 19 special to AP destinations from Hyd on 10.4.19. This is in addition to around 300 regular buses from Hyd. Daily 657 buses are in operation from different parts of TS to AP destinations. More buses will be pressed as per demand. PL logon to https://t.co/VviTMvGMoy
— TSRTC (@TSRTCHQ) March 26, 2019
Responding to the response given by the Chief Minister, the union are planning to hold a state wide bandh.
Chairman of RTC JAC Ashwathama Reddy said, "The Telangana government has not paid dues amounting to Rs 2,400 crore to the TSRTC. Further, the provident fund contribution of the RTC employees which is over Rs 2,000 crore has been used by the management. We demand the TSRTC management to contribute our PF amount to the Provident Fund account and clear the pending dues.”
The RTC unions expressed their concerns over the high tax rates on the RTC.
"We have four per cent tax on ATF, 14 per cent on diesel for Railways and 27.25 per cent on diesel for RTC. Does it make any sense? High tax on the RTC which is used by the common people. Low tax on ATF. We demand that the government remove the tax anomalies," Mr Ashwathama Reddy said.
Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) chief Prof Kodandaram said that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has no right to dismiss all the RTC employees. The RTC employees are not KCR's personal staff at his farmhouse.
CPI leader Venkat Reddy said that though the party is supporting the TRS in the Huzurnagar by-election if the TRS government doesn’t withdraw its decision on dismissing employees, we’ll review our decision to support the pink party.
Woes of employees
The 48,000 RTC employees, who have been on strike for the past five days, could not enjoy the Dasara festival with their families. They raised the fact that the TRS government did not pay the September salary.
“We didn’t celebrate the Dasara festival. Our families suffered a lot. We couldn’t buy clothes for our children as we were not paid a salary for September. How come the RTC management stopped the payment of our salary for September. During Sakala Janula Samme, we didn’t celebrate Dasara. But we were happy then. This time also we didn’t celebrate Dasara, but very sad now. Is it the Bangaur Telangana? We want livable Telangana. Dasara for almost 49,000 families was a gloomy one,” said Krishna Reddy, a senior employee.
Another employee recalled and said, “The present ministers – Errabelli Dayakar Rao and Talasani Srinivas Yadav – criticised the TRS supremo K. Chandrasekhar Rao during the agitation for Telangana statehood. “What kind of words they used against KCR, we all know. The same people are now ministers in KCR’s Cabinet and are criticising the RTC staff for striking. Telangana people are well aware of such people. How can the RTC incur losses, when the occupancy ratio is over 75 per cent on record? The fund diversion is a major reason for RTC losses.”
The JAC called for total support from the opposition parties and Telangana public for their fight to protect the TSRTC. The JAC will also meet the Governor Ms Tamilisai Soundararajan to explain what’s happening all these days.