Highlights

  • KCR sets 3-day deadline for striking TSRTC employees
  • Rules out merger demand
  • Hikes DA for govt employees

Hyderabad: The Telangana Rashtra Samiti government has set a deadline for the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) employees to report to duty by Tuesday (November 5) midnight. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has decided to hire 5,100 private buses on 50:50 sharing system. If the striking employees don’t join duty, the remaining routes will also be privatised, the Chief Minister said. He added that it was the opposition parties who were responsible for the suicides of the TSRTC employees.

The Chief Minister said, “I once again reiterate that there will not be any merger with the state government. We want to protect all the 49,000 TSRTC employees and their families. As a CM, leader of Telangana agitation and a brother, I appeal to all the striking employees to report to duty and come out of the evil influence of the TSRTC unions. The opposition parties will leave you all in the lurch. Don’t depend on the opposition political parties as they’re trying to take political advantage of the situation. TSRTC will retain profitable routes and privatise unremunerative routes.”

The Chief Minister discussed 49 issues, including DA hike. Transport minister P. Ajay, transport commissioner Sandeep Kumar Sultania, TSRTC in-charge MD Sunil Sharma and senior officials took part in the review meeting.

Privatising routes

TSRTC has 5,000 of its own buses and 2,100 buses on hire. Mr Chandrasekhar Rao said, “The Cabinet has decided to hire 5,100 additional buses. After this, the TSRTC will have 5,000 buses and an equal number in private mode. TSRTC management will run buses in 50:50 ratio. The condition of the 2,100 buses is horrible. We need to replace these old buses.”

Unions, opposition responsible for suicides

Expressing concerns over the suicides by the TSRTC employees, the Chief Minister held the unions and opposition parties responsible as they created panic among the staff.

The Chief Minister said, “Since the formation of Telangana state, the TRS government has hiked salaries of TSRTC employees by 67 per cent. Moreover, we have regularised 4,700 contract employees. TSRTC staff received 16 per cent IR, which the state government employees also did not get. The Congress government released Rs 712 crore to APSRTC in five years. But the TRS government released Rs 900 crore in just one year taking the total to Rs 4,500 crore in the past five years.”

Never assured on the merger

Ruling out the statements of the unions and political parties on the merger issue, the Chief Minister clarified that he never promised on the merger. “If the TSRTC is merged with the state government, the problem will not stop here. We have 91 corporations in the state. They will also start demanding for a merger. If they approach the court, the judicial system will question the state government over the decision of why only the TSRTC, what about other corporations? The Chief Minister said.

It’s not APSRTC

KCR further said that the transport corporation is TSRTC only. With the approval from the Centre, the Telangana government has notified the TSRTC. Few minor issues in the division of APSRTC are still pending.

Centre should compensate

With a 31 per cent stake, the Central government is on the board of the TSRTC. “Hence, the Centre should bear the loss in the same proportion. We have written to the Centre in this regard and are waiting for their reply. The Centre should bear the losses incurred in the past five years,” Mr Chandrasekhar Rao said.

On APSRTC merger

Responding to the decision of the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on merging the APSRTC, the Chief Minister questioned why should it be related to Telangana? We have been implementing 25 schemes in Telangana. No state in the country has such welfare and development schemes. AP government is giving Rs 12,500 under the Rythu Bharosa scheme. In Telangana, farmers are getting Rs 50,000 on five acres. Rythu Bima assures Rs 5 lakh compensation in case of the death of a farmer. Which state is implementing all these schemes? the Chief Minister asked

DA hike

The Telangana government has decided to increase DA by 3.144 per cent for government employees. The DA hike is applicable for the January-July period. “We will also restructure the police department to take care of the newly created districts, revenue divisions and Mandals in Telangana,” said KCR.

Owaisi backs KCR

Meanwhile, AIMIM for the first time came to rescue the TRS government on TSRTC issue. AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi appealed the TSRTC employees to consider the assurances given by the Cheif Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao. Owaisi further requested the striking RTC employees not to commit suicide, while alerting them about the political game by the opposition parties.

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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