Hyderabad: Instead of stepping up RTC services to meet the peak demand occasioned by Dasara and Bathukamma festivals as well as the vacation for educational institutions, employees of TSRTC seem to be on a collision course with the state government. They have declared their firm intention to go on “indefinite strike” from October 5 to press for their long-pending demands, including merger of RTC with the Government.
The strike will prove to be a major jolt to the public as RTC bus services are much sought-after, with private players keen on raking in the moolah during the peak season. At a time when even the railways are mulling the introduction of additional trains with all tickets for festival travel already exhausted, the least people expect from RTC is to chip in at least in respect of routes where rail travel has become impossible due to the rush.
RTC DEMANDS WITH THE STATE GOVT. NOT IMPLEMENTED
Still, the Joint Action Committee of RTC employees of Telangana has decided to observe strike from October 5 if their main demand of merger of RTC with the State government is not implemented. Although RTC workers had served strike notice a month ago, there has been no response from the management till date.
Considering that the government is now in by-election mode, they seem to ready to ‘strike’ while the iron is hot. Private bus operators are known to make a killing during such times by doubling or even tripling fares. All RTC trade unions had served strike notice on the management, with a 25-point list of demands.
They sought support from people and people’s organisations for the public transport organization to thrive. Barring security and paramedical departments, all RTC wings would observe bandh, the leaders of RTC unions said.
UNION CITING EXAMPLE OF AP
The unions are citing the example of Andhra Pradesh, where the Jagan Mohan Reddy led government has announced a merger of APSRTC with the State government in line with the promise he had made during his padayatra. He has constituted an expert committee which is working out the modalities.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the unions claim, also promised to do so in TS, but is not bothering to implement his promise. TMU secretary Aswathama Reddy said that their strike was inevitable. Although the government had 18 months to decide on the matter, it had not come forward to implement their demands to “save the public transport organization.
The workers are demanding the implementation of assurances given by the Cabinet Sub-Committee, headed by then Deputy CM Kadiam Srihari, to RTC workers last year. From Monday, protests would be organised in all districts, he said.
The workers’ demands include job security for, payment of arrears, absorption of RTC losses in urban areas by the government, the merger of RTC with the government, filling vacancies in transport undertakings, doing away with Motor Vehicles Tax and provision of medical amenities to RTC workers in the RTC hospital at Tarnaka.
Authored by Mohammed Hussain, firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @writetohussain