No talks with striking staff or merger of TSRTC: KCR

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

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday made it clear that his government will no longer sit for talks with the striking JAC of employees unions.

He also said that he will not merge the state transport corporation (TSRTC) with the government.

The chief minister who held a high powered meeting at his official residence Pragathi Bhavan with the TSRTC, RTA and police officers, later released a statement in this regard.

KCR held the corporation staff responsible for the trouble faced by the general public because of the untimely strike during the ongoing festive season.

"After the 6 pm deadline set by the government for all practical purposes, only 1,200 employees are now left with the TSRTC,” the chief minister said indirectly warning the 50,000-odd staff members who have not reported to duty on Saturday evening.

He pointed out that the state government is keen on turning a leaf in the history of the corporation by ushering in drastic changes.

"The corporation had accumulated losses of Rs 1,200 crore and had debt of Rs 5,000 crore," he said.

The chief minister also directed officers to immediately hire 2,500 buses.

In addition 4,114 private buses will be permitted to operate as state carriers.

KCR directed the TSRTC to take an undertaking from newly recruited staff that they will not join any union activity.

Further recruitment will be conditional and services will be regularized only after the probationary period.

"50% of the TSRTC fleet will comprise private vehicles,” KCR said.

A new committee headed by Principal Secretary (Transport) Sunil Sharma was asked to suggest ways to strengthen the organisation.

The chief minister also reminded the officers that states such as Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Manipur do not have state-run corporations.

He wondered how the government can afford to hike the salaries of those who are already drawing more than Rs 50,000 per month.

Meanwhile, JAC convener Aswathama Reddy said that the staff will not return to work despite the government's warning.

He will be sitting on an indefinite hunger strike at the Dharna Chowk on Monday pressing for the fulfillment of the unions' demands.

However, the city police have denied permission for the hunger strike programme.

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