Will not take back TSRTC employees come what may: KCR on ongoing bus strike2 min read . Updated: 12 Oct 2019, 08:41 PM IST
- The Telangana government will not recognise the strike, led by the TSRTC unions 'under any circumstances'
- Among its demands, the protesting TSRTC unions are asking for salary hikes and merger of the TSRTC with the state government
Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) on Saturday reiterated that the 48000-plus Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) who are currently on strike will not be taken back. A statement from KCR said that the state government will not take them back "come what may".
On Saturday, the TSRTC unions (led by the joint action committee) gave a call for a 'Rasta Roko' (road block) programme to be held across the state at major junctions as part of its strike and also announced that a state wide bandh will be observed with support from opposition parties, student unions and other employee organisations.
Calling the ongoing strike by the TSRTC employees "illegal and unauthorised", a release from KCR's office said that his government will not recognise the strike, led by the TSRTC unions (which have come together under the banner of a joint action committee), "under any circumstances". The chief minister even went on to add that having any kind of talks with the JAC is out of question.
In view of the ongoing bus strike in Telangana, the state government also announced that the ongoing Dushera holidays have been extended till 19 October.
Prior to this, after the TSRTC unions began the strike on 5 October, the state government had given an ultimatum to all the employees to return to work on the same day by 6 pm. As that did not happen, KCR said that all of them would be considered "self-dismissed". However, it is not clear whether formal orders of dismissal have been issued against the striking employees.
The chief minister on Saturday instructed officials concerned to make arrangements so that all the TSRTC buses would ply on the roads across the state. "KCR also instructed officials concerned to appoint required employees to run 50 per cent of the TSRTC buses, take 30% of buses on hire and give stage carriage route permits to 20% private buses," said the statement from KCR's statement.
The chief minister also asked concerned officials to recruit employees, utilize the services of retired (TS)RTC and police department drivers. It is to be seen how the TSRTC JAC responds to this. Union leaders, who had conducted protests at different places in Hyderabad on Saturday, are also planning to give a bandh call soon.
Among its demands, the protesting TSRTC unions are asking for salary hikes (due since 2017 according to the JAC) and merger of the TSRTC with the state government. With the strike entering its 8th day, public transport continued to take a hit across Telangana as the state government has been able to ply only a fraction of the state run buses with the help of private drivers who have been hired on a temporary basis.