Chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao said any decision will be taken only after due consideration of all related matters
Rao had issued an ultimatum to the striking TSRTC employees to return to work by 5 November
Hyderabad: The Telangana government will take a final decision regarding the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation after the high court delivers its verdict on privatising certain bus routes on Friday.
Chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, in a statement released late on Thursday, said any decision will be taken only after due consideration of all related matters.
In a statement released late on Thursday, Rao said the TSRTC has debts and dues worth ₹2,000 crore that have to be paid immediately. “Diesel dues are also to be paid. Transport Tax dues are pending for the last two years. New buses should be purchased to replace with the 2,600 old buses. PF dues to the tune of ₹65-70 crore are to be paid every month. In total, to run TSRTC as on date, ₹640 Crore is needed per month. Who will bear this financial burden? The TSRTC has no financial strength to incur this expenditure."
Rao’s comments come at a time when the TSRTC unions, which have formed a joint action committee (JAC), have said they would call off their strike if the state government takes back all the 48,000-plus TSRTC employees unconditionally. The unions went to strike on 5 October, primarily demanding the merger of TSRTC with the state government, a move that Rao has rejected.
Rao had issued an ultimatum to the striking TSRTC employees to return to work by 5 November, and said those who do not resume work will be considered “self-dismissed". He had also said 5,100 private vehicles will be given permits to run on TSRTC routes, allowing for privatisation of the bus service in Telangana.
The strike has crippled public transport in the state, prompting the government to hire temporary drivers to run some of the bus services. The JAC has put up 26 demands, which include wage hikes, due since 2017.
The indefinite strike has led to significant major losses for the road transporter, with losses totaling more than ₹200 crore in over a month.