HYDERABAD: The Telangana government on Monday has clearly stated that it will not take back striking TSRTC employees to work after the expiry of the November 5 deadline.

Taking a tough stance, the government said if the employees continued their stir, it would go ahead with the plan to permit private bus operators to run services in 5,000 of the total of 10,400 routes, leading to a situation where the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation will literally cease to exist.

Employees would solely be responsible for such a situation and should therefore decide whether to save their jobs or trouble their families, a press release said.

This was stated after a meeting chaired by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR), in which transport minister P Ajay Kumar and top officials took part on Monday.

They said that union leaders were giving a false impression to the workers, citing ongoing proceedings in the High Court. "But according to legal experts, the High Court has not given any directives to the government on the strike. There is nothing the court can do."If the High Court verdict is (on the) contrary, having come this far on the matter, both the RTC and government will move the Supreme Court," the release said.

The meeting opined that the matter would get delayed further if it goes to the Supreme Court, it said. "Going by past experience, the case in Supreme Court may drag on for months and years. It will be a never-ending battle. Hence this will not do any good to the workers," it said, quoting opinions expressed in the meeting.

Meanwhile Joint Action Committee (JAC) Convenor E Ashwathama Reddy claimed that five of the 11 employees who reported for work on Sunday following the government's deadline, had since "returned". "We once again appeal (to the Chief Minister)... invite the JAC for talks," he told reporters. Citing alleged suicides and deaths of employees due to heart attacks, he asked the government to adopt a humanitarian stance on the issue.

Meanwhile TSRTC officials are hopeful striking employees in good numbers would report to duty on Tuesday as the state government's deadline to them to return to work ends on November 5. There were only a few takers on Sunday as the government's deadline for striking workers to return to duty neared, according to RTC sources.(PTI)

Also Read: TSRTC Strike: Another Employee Dies of Heart Attack In Nalgonda