Hyderabad: Talks between the three-member committee, appointed by the Telangana government and TSRTC unions failed to arrive at a positive conclusion on Friday. The JAC of TSRTC unions announced that it had no option but to go for a state-wide strike from Friday midnight. The state government is threatening to invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) in case employees take part in the strike.
Telangana government is busy with making all possible arrangements for passengers in the wake of the strike call by the JAC of RTC unions. The government would run private and hired buses to meet the festival demand, said Somesh Kumar, Chairman of the three-member committee. People in large number go to villages from Hyderabad during the Dussehra festival. RTC employees shouldn’t cause inconvenience to passengers during the festive season, he added.
“The Telangana government is committed to resolving all the problems of RTC employees. However, it would take some time. If the employees dishonour government orders, they have to face stringent action. The government will invoke ESMA if the employees participate in the strike. The staff will be dismissed for taking part in the strike. The government is ready to recruit people to fill the vacancies thus created. We’re running 2,100 private and hired buses to cater to the demand during the festive season. The state government will provide security to private vehicles. We ordered private vehicle owners not to charge extra from customers,” remarked Somesh Kumar.
He stated that the Telangana government spent double the amount spent in the united AP. “APSRTC received Rs 1,490 crore in five years in the united Andhra Pradesh. TSRTC got Rs 3,303 crore in five years. The Telangana government has been spending more on RTC. We had met with JAC leaders three times and they had put forth 26 demands. We asked JAC to give us some time to discuss with the state government and take a decision on this. However, JAC is insisting on an immediate decision. We have to study what the neighbouring state did and what Telangana government can do. This would take some time to study and submit a report to the Chief Minister,” Somesh further added. As this is a festival season people were worried over buses strike in Hyderabad and rest of Telangana.
The committee mentioned that the strike by RTC staff is illegal. It also assured the employees, whoever wants to report to duty, of total protection. The government is engaging all district Collectors and SPs to make arrangements for passengers during the Dussehra festival.
Meanwhile, the JAC of RTC unions has clarified that the buses strike call is inevitable as the government didn’t take any decision. “Over 50,000 employees will take part in the strike. The state government is not resolving any problem of RTC employees. We have been serving strike notice for four years, but the government is not keen on our demands,” said Ashwathama Reddy, Chairman, JAC of RTC unions.