KCR gives striking RTC employees deadline to join back

TRS party chief and caretaker chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (PTI Photo)

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday gave a last and final opportunity to striking employees of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) to retain their jobs by returning to their duties by midnight of November 5.

While announcing privatisation of public transport to the extent of 50 per cent,the chief minister said on humanitarian grounds, he wanted to give one last chance to the agitating employees. “I am giving them three days’ time. They have to return to their duties unconditionally. If they do not resume their duties before this deadline, it would be the end of their job and they would be permanently losing their jobs,” KCR declared.

The chief minister made this statement after a marathon five-hour long state cabinet at Pragati Bhavan in the evening.

KCR said , there were 10,400 buses being run by the RTC, including 2,100 buses hired from private services. Another 3,000 buses belonging to the RTC are in a bad shape and ready to be condemned. Since the RTC management is not in a position to buy new places in place of these condemned buses, the cabinet decided to privatise these 3,000 services, apart from 2,100 hired services, he said.

“It means, the government will be giving permits to private bus operators to run 5,100 buses. The remaining 5,300 buses would be under the control of the RTC. The decision was taken to provide a level-playing field to the public and private transport, in accordance with the new Motor Vehicles Act passed by the Parliament recently that came into effect from 1 September,” the chief minister said.

The chief minister warned that if the striking employees do not return to their duties unconditionally the state government would give permits to the private operators to operate the remaining 5,300 buses also. Does it mean Telangana would become a state without public transport? , he said.

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