HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday came down heavily on the TSRTC employees, who have threatened to go on strike. Not mincing words, Rao said “If you go on strike, it will be the last strike in the history of TSRTC. The union leaders, by their strike plans, are trying to destabilise the corporation. Do not believe the words of selfish union leaders who are hoodwinking the employees.”
In the wake of strike notice given by RTC employees, including Telangana Mazdoor Union, whose honorary president is irrigation minister T Harish Rao, the Chief Minister held a review with officials on Thursday.
“Telangana means four crore people, not 53,000 RTC workers alone. The government is here for the welfare of the people of the state. Strike will be suicidal for the RTC staff. Think this before you go on strike,” the Chief Minister said.
Rao further said that if the RTC staff go on strike, they would be removed from services immediately and those removed would only participate in the strike. “Understand this and inform your plans on strike,” Rao told the union leaders. Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy invited the unions for talks on Friday.
It remains to be seen how the unions will respond to the Chief Minister’s statement on Friday.
"The RTC is incurring Rs 700 crore loss every year, paying Rs 250 crore interest on loans and the accumulated debts are Rs 3,000 crore. The staff of such a corporation going on strike is most irresponsible,” the Chief Minister said.“If the RTC staff go on strike, the RTC would incur Rs 4 crore loss every day. If the government accepts the unjust demands of RTC workers, the RTC will be burdened by ` 1,400 crore more every year. Union leaders should ponder over how to bail out the corporation, instead of going on strike,” the Chief Minister said.
Division of RTC?
The CM recalled that the State government gave 44 per cent fitment to RTC workers for the first time two years back. At that time, only 9 out of the 96 depots were earning profits. “Even after two years, there is no change in the situation. Several state road corporations in the country are either reorganised or divided. There are 10 RTC corporations in Tamil Nadu, seven in Maharashtra and four in Karnataka. If the losses continue, it will lead to reorganisation or division of the TSRTC too,” Rao said.
“When the government is implementing several welfare schemes like Rythu Bandhu, Kalyan Lakshmi and others, it will be a burden on the government to bear the losses of the RTC,” the Chief Minister said.
In Karnataka, there were 4.6 workers per bus, but in TSRTC there were 5.6 workers per bus. “If we followed Karnataka model, then the TSRTC losses will be reduced by Rs 600 crore. The main losses for the RTC is because of salaries. Karnataka RTC is in profits with 226 depots. But, not even one third depots out of 96 TSRTC depots are running in profits,” Rao said. He directed the officials to take buses from other institutions and other states and help the public in case of RTC strike.