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TSRTC stir: Merger demand not dropped, say employees

TSRTC JAC convenor E Ashwathama Reddy  said tha the strike will continue until the government holds discussions with regard to all demands put forward by unions.

Published: 24th October 2019 08:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2019 08:45 AM   |  A+A-

As the strike enters the 19th day, RTC workers stage a protest near Dilsukhnagar bus depot in Hyderabad on Wednesday

As the strike enters the 19th day, RTC workers stage a protest near Dilsukhnagar bus depot in Hyderabad on Wednesday | RVK Rao

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Contradicting Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s claims, TSRTC JAC has denied withdrawing the demand for merger of the corporation in the state government.The chief minister, after going through the Telangana High Court’s October 18 order on Tuesday night, felt that the TJAC, while presenting its arguments in the court, had forsaken its demand for the merger. He then stated that the government was therefore now ready to consider 21 of the 45 demands (other than merger), which the court had referred to as those having very little financial burden on the corporation.

Subsequently, TSRTC JAC convenor E Ashwathama Reddy made it amply clear that they did not withdraw the demand and the unions wanted all the demands discussed for arriving at an amicable agreement. “Till that does not happen, the strike will continue,” he said.In fact, a closer look at the 21 demands in question shows that none of them actually resolved TSRTC’s issues with persistent losses, or the fact that the State doesn’t have enough buses.

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The Committee constituted by RTC has six Executive Directors (ED). According to highly-placed sources, the directors have been asked to only look at these 21 demands. Crucial demands like increasing the number of buses, returning the PF money of employees, recruiting people for the 6,000 vacancies and reduction of MV Tax will not be examined. They are expected to submit this report to the MD by Thursday evening. These demands include things like increasing medicine stock with RTC hospital in Tarnaka, having restrooms at changeover stops. None of these demands can actually target the real issues of the loss making corporation.

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In fact, while they are for the general welfare of the people, they will still cost RTC a lot. For instance, setting up restrooms for drivers can itself cost a lot as TSRTC has a very vast network that connects  all parts of the state. The demand for uniforms alone will cost Rs 5 crore approximately, informed sources. Meanwhile, the RTC JAC members noted that the government should call the unions for talks instead of constituting a committee to submit reports to the court.

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