TSRTC strike: KCR sets November 5 deadline for workers to rejoin duty

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on November 03, 2019

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (file photo)

Telangana decides to privatise 5100 routes

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has announced a State Cabinet decision setting November 5 deadline for striking TS Road Transport Corporation staff to resume work.

Announcing this late Saturday night after a marathon Cabinet meet that lasted more than five hours, Rao said the striking workers were being mislead by union leaders and that it was in their interest to join work by Tuesday without any conditions.

Route privitisation

Rao also announced the Cabinet decision to open up 5,100 routes, nearly half of the 10,400 routes RTC operates in the State, to the private sector. Justifying the decision to privatise, he said this comes in the backdrop of the recently amended enactment by the Centre and augured well for the future of the ailing corporation.

The Chief Minister said a transport regulatory commission would be set up to regulate operations and both buses run by the RTC and private sector would compete. The Commission will regulate the private operators and ensure that the passengers are not fleeced.

Rao said the government decision to privatise the routes was based on the Centre's Motor Vehicle Act, 2019 and that it was irrevocable.

During the briefing, Rao said that while the State Cabinet decided to offer 5,100 of 10,400 routes to private operators as of now, he warned that other routes would also be transferred if the striking workers did not resume duty by Tuesday midnight.

No question of merger: KCR

He made it clear that there was no question of merging RTC with the State government. This is one of the key demands of the 49,000 RTC workers.

Also read: TSRTC strike: No end in sight

The Chief Minister called upon the striking workers and their families not to get carried away by the rhetoric of union leaders and to resume work as this was the last chance to do so in their interest.

He also made it clear that the strike was illegal and that if they did not report to work by the deadline, the government would not hesitate to offer the remaining routes to the private sector.

Also read: Telangana RTC strike: Unions to seek Centre’s intervention

The month-long RTC strike is causing hardship to commuters. The Joint Action Committee, which is spearheading the strike, has decided to step up the agitation from November 5. This decision was made before the Cabinet decision and Rao’s announcement. It is to be seen how workers' unions react to the government offer.

Matters relating to the RTC strike are also being considered by the Telangana High Court.

Published on November 03, 2019

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