"Those who join the duty before fifth of this month will be given jobs. Blackmailing and unions will not work with me. No question of RTC merger with the state govermment under any circumstances," he said.
In a major decision, the Telangana government on Saturday announced privatisaction of 5,100 routes of the state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) and warned the striking employees that if they failed to join duty inside the next three days, it will privatise the remaining routes. "The permission for private buses is to provide a level-playing field. There will be 50% RTC and 50% private buses in Telangana," he said.
He said there would be a transport commission to regulate the private operators so that the passengers were not fleeced.
Rao told reporters that he was giving a chance to the striking employees to save their jobs and the future of their families.
"If they don't return to work by 5 November midnight, we will privatise the remaining 5,000 routes," he said.
Rao said the decision to privatise the routes was irrevocable as the state was empowered to privatise the RTC under the Motor Vehicle Act, 2019.
Meanwhile, the strike by the employees entered the 29th day on Saturday. Employees and workers unions of TSRTC started the indefinite strike from October 5 across Telangana on a call given by the JAC of TSRTC, demanding merger of the corporation with the government among others.
Ruling out the merger of the corporation with the government, Rao had termed the employees' stir as "illegal" and said it caused immense inconvenience to the public.