Telangana govt to rope in staff to work as drivers, conductors

Police inspecting buses; TSRTC deploys additional buses, Pvt staff; govt informs HC

Hyderabad: Intending to run more buses, the Telangana government is asking employees from other departments to work as bus drivers and conductors. The District Collectors have prepared a list of employees with heavy driving licence. Responding to the concerns over extra charges in TSRTC buses, the state government on Thursday announced that it’s taking stringent measures to check such practices. The state government further said that more buses had been deployed to ease the situation during the festive rush.

Exorbitant charges

After Dussehra, employees and students are returning to the twin cities from the villages. The government is running over 3,000 buses by roping in private drivers. The demand for private vehicles rose significantly. The staffs in private buses and RTC buses are charging extra money from passengers, complained a student. Satyanarayana, a native of Adilabad district, said that he paid Rs 1,200 to reach Hyderabad as against the standard fare of Rs 300.

“Generally the normal bus fare from Nalgonda to Hyderabad is Rs 110. Today, I paid Rs 300. The staff didn’t give me a ticket as well,” said Narender, an employee with a private company in Hyderabad.

The RTC unions and BJP leaders met Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan. They briefed the Governor about the ongoing strike and situation that led to it. The RTC JAC requested the Governor to intervene in the issue and justify the demands of RTC employees.

Police inspect RTC buses

Nalgonda Superintendent of Police (SP) requested officials of TSRTC and Police department to carry out random inspections of RTC buses. “We found that some conductors are duping passengers by charging extra amount. I inspected a bus and asked a passenger about it. He said he paid Rs 250 as against the normal fare of Rs 175. We immediately arrested the conductor for cheating,” said Nalgonda SP in a statement.

Govt to rope in staff as conductors

With the mounting pressure on delivering regular transport services, the Telangana government wants to deploy employees to work as bus conductors as well. The criticism over high charges in buses as private staffs are charging heavily from passengers is increasing by the day. RTC officials also noticed that malfunctioning is taking place in cash transactions.

“Telangana government is making efforts to check the malfunctioning of private employees in RTC buses. The government is asking employees to work as bus conductors,” said a senior official.

Khammam District Collector RV Karnan already issued orders to employees of R&B, Co-operative, Labour and Panchayati Raj departments. The Collector asked 20 employees from the departments to work as bus conductors for the time being and issued temporary orders to the effect. The government has also identified employees with heavy driving licence and asking them to drive RTC buses.

Deployed additional buses, private staff: TS informs HC

Meanwhile, the Telangana government informed the High Court about the alternative measures taken.

Telangana Advocate General, in a report submitted to the High Court, said, “We have deployed 8,150 vehicles for public transportation. TSRTC is operating 3,013 buses, and 1,804 buses are on hire. Over 2,600 maxi cabs and 700 private buses have been deployed. TSRTC hired private drivers and conductors to ease the situation for passengers. Hyderabad Metro is also operating additional services in the twin cities. We allowed private vehicles to run as stage carriers, and Uber and Ola are also operating additional vehicles. The state government has requested Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to run more buses to Telangana.”

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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