Road transport corporation – It is time for ordinary people like us to realise; it’s our duty to support and save from drowning. We all heard stories of our past generation, how each of them travelled long enough through public transport to work, reach home, travel in all possible places. Now, public transportation could no more be seen. How could it be justified? How can an ordinary person from low and middle class survive high-five standards of travelling? Does the government think every one earns in dollars? Who is going to support the people that are standing against this?
Beginning from early hours in the morning till late nights– public bus transport has been the key confidence of each family. Its been promising a safe transport for not just Telangana but also many other states. However, for TSRTC- Telangana State Road Transport Corporation seems there is no justice to earn its value. Though, this corporation chose to serve public still it is drowning in huge losses.
Every category of class– Students, Handicapped, and other special category people get various discounts from RTC, and same were supposed to be reimbursed from the concerned government. If observed, the TSRTC needs to fill its accounts with bus pass reimbursements around Rs 600 Crore from Telangana government. When raised a request of reimbursement/claim since 2014-19 from government, to pay Rs 2700 Crores, the government concluded to pay only Rs 710 Crore. If this how the situation is, there is no doubt in showcasing public transport as an underdeveloped way of transportation.
Considering the period 2014-19, the tax payments, high diesel prices, motor vehicles tax, GST, toll tax RTC pays more than Rs 1000 Crore for which, the claim accepted amount is highly minimal. If you look into the situation, the Telangana government is simply not supporting public transportation but being a burden and collecting huge expenses from it.
As the protest by TSRTC continues, the employees of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) on Friday revealed their solidarity. They announced protests at all 128 bus depots across the state on Sunday. The APSRTC’s Joint Action Committee (JAC) has vowed to intensify its agitation in Andhra Pradesh in a phased manner to show support for the striking TSRTC employees. The teacher’s union has already supported the protest.
The worst part is that around 11-12 crore revenue is lost daily due to the ongoing strike. As the strike continued during Dushera, the revenue drop TSRTC had to face was quite high as people travel more during the festival season.
Telangana Government’s stand regarding the strike:
The Telangana government have taken measures to keep the transport system uninterrupted. On Thursday the Telangana High Court has postponed the hearing to October 15 regarding the petition that sought to declare the strike as illegal. The government also produced before the court the arrangements they have taken to withstand this strike.
Telangana Transport Minister P Ajay Kumar has warned the private transport that, strict action will be taken if they use this situation and charge higher fare from passengers.
BJP Sought for Governor’s Intervention:
BJP leaders sought the intervention of Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan in the issue and asked the Governor to revoke the dismissals of protesting employees. The senior leader of BJP further submitted a memorandum, in which they asked the Governor to instruct the government to withdraw their plans to privatise TSRTC. Moreover, to have talks with the protesting employees; fulfil their demands; bail out debt-ridden TSRTC by releasing Rs 2,000 crore, and pay employee salaries for the month of September.
Furthermore, leaders also requested the Governor to look into the closure of medical services to the TSRTC employees. They requested Tamilisai to instruct KCR to follow proper procedure before making any policy decision. In the memorandum, they stated that the employees’ union had issued a strike notice two months ago, but the government did not have a discussion with them. The BJP stated that by privatising the TSRTC, KCR is conspiring to handover TSRTC prime properties to private players.
Various unions to support the strike:
APSRTC employees’ JAC also slammed Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for his statement that all 48,000 employees had “dismissed” themselves as they had failed to report for duty before the deadline on October 5.
Denouncing the government’s attitude, Telangana Mazdoor Union president E Ashwathama Reddy said the strike would continue.
Employees and workers’ unions of TSRTC had begun an indefinite strike from October 5 across the state, demanding merger of the RTC with the government, recruitment to various posts, among several other demands.
TSRTC union leaders said that they want the government to consider corporation as merely a bus service rather than a profit/loss-making body. Source say that the TSRTC-JAC will be conducting a meeting the coming Wednesday to decide on a date for a bandh.
The Telangana government has failed to understand the very fact that this strike would bring the life of commoners to stand still. Moreover, the employees working in TSRTC are also affected by this situation. Now, as the union leaders have made their side clear and have stated that, the strike would continue till the government comes up for some negotiation. Now, the only hope for ordinary people is that it happens sooner, so that their life can be set back to normal.