K. Chandrashekhar Rao says not a single employee of the state-run bus service will be sacked
Retirement age of the TSRTC employees to be increased from 58 to 60 years
In complete contrast to his earlier statements, Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (TSRTC) on Sunday said that all the 48,000-odd employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) who were on a 52-day strike (from 5 October to 25 November) will get their salaries for the entire time they were not on duty.
KCR, who held a meeting with employees of the TSRTC at his camp office on Sunday, reiterated that not a single employee of the state-run bus service will be sacked, and added that all of them would receive their salaries even for their strike period on Monday itself. Earlier, when the strike was on, he had issued an ultimatum to the TSRTC employees to rejoin duties by 5 November, and also said that otherwise they would be considered “self-dismissed".
After the meeting on Monday, a statement from the chief minister’s office said that “not even one private bus will be permitted to operate even in a single(TS) RTC bus route." From next year on wards, Rs1,000 Crore will be provided in the state budget to the TSRTC.
During the strike period, KCR himself had announced that he would issue 5,100 private vehicles with permits to operate on TSRTC routes.
The strike, led by different unions, which formed a joint action committee (JAC), had put forth 26 demands, with the primary one to merge the cash-strapped TSRTC with the state government. KCR had then categorically said that it was not possible. However, on Sunday, after the meeting he also said the TSRTC will receive Rs1,000 crore in the state budget, and hoped that the state-run bus service will be able to make Rs1,000 in profits as well.
Moreover, the chief minister also assured all the employees of job security and added that the retirement age of the TSRTC employees will be increased from 58 to 60 years. KCR said that all the TSRTC employees will also get additional benefits like their parents being included in their health care plans. The state government will also set up a committee to look into the TSTRC’s issues he added.
The TSRTC in Telangana, which operates 10,400 buses, faces a daily operation loss of about Rs2 crore a day and that amount went up to Rs5.5 crore Rs6 crore a day due the strike.