HYDERABAD: Citing that the TSRTC employees cannot avail leave, the officials at some bus depots, including HCU terminal, have asked their staff to produce proof to even take emergency leave. In a bizarre diktat, a driver who took leave to attend the funeral of a close relative was asked to produce a selfie with the body. “How can we take a selfie with the body during the funeral? This is pathetic. Its an inhuman order by our heartless higher authorities,” said the driver on condition of anonymity.
With the management pushing for more efficiency, the bus depots have adopted ‘no leaves’ policy. There is an increase in the number of cases of the crew, both drivers and conductors receiving ‘charge memos’ every time they avail leave. The issue of the well-being of RTC drivers came to the fore when A Srinivas of HCU depot died by suicide this week after being allegedly issued a ‘charge memo’ for his absence from work. “As per the norms, the staff who work without taking leave would be given incentive of Rs 1,500 (for 100 days). But, in the present scenario, the very purpose of encouraging the staff is defeated and they are being forced to work without leave,” said V S Rao, convenor of RTC-JAC.
Venting their frustration, some drivers at HCU depot alleged that Srinivas ended his life as he was unable to face the harassment anymore. Others gave a hint of the worsening situation. “I had never come across such a scenario in my over two decades of service. Those who had been transferred to other depots are also not being relieved. If the situation continues, even we may have to take an extreme step like Srinvas,” felt another driver.