Within hours after winning the Huzurnagar by-election with a thumping majority, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has made it clear that the Telangana State Transport Corporation, the public carrier is as good as closed. He offered no negotiations and also refused to re-absorb all those 48,800 odd employees of the corporation, who the government terms as self dismissed.
Speaking to media at the TRS headquarters after the victory in the bypolls KCR termed the strike as foolish and self-destructive. “The state is in severe financial slow down, along with the country. The situation is so bad that I have to present a toned-down budget. After coming to power in the past five years I have increased their salaries 67% in two phases,” KCR said ruling out any further hike in their salaries.
Merger with govt not possible
Ruling out any negotiations over the main demand for merger of the TSRTC with the government, KCR said that RTC is not the only corporation that the government has to take care. “There are more than 58 corporations. The same courts will also order us to consider their demands, but RTC merger is impossible, illogical and it is a foolish demand,” KCR said.
He pointed out that the RTC employees have been cheated by the unions by not telling them the truth. “They opted to go on strike when the RTC could have made money from the homebound tourists during Dassera. But they fell into the trap of political parties,” he said.
RTC will close not the strike
KCR, answering repeated questions about the fate of the ailing corporation said that he is sure that the corporation will close down whether the strike is withdrawn or not. “I have increased assistance to RTC by 597% in the past five years. The assistance was around Rs 900 cr per year. The TSRTC has outstanding loans of Rs 5, 000 cr loans, if monthly interest not paid, the corporation will go bankrupt as it is making a loss of Rs 100 cr every month, where is the question of survival,” he said.
KCR assured commuters that very soon private operators will be given permission to run services in the intra and inter city services.