TRSTC Strike Enters Seventh Day In Telangana

Pic courtesy: Twitter@tsrtcbuses - Sakshi Post

Hyderabad: The indefinite strike called by the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) unions entered its seventh day on Friday with many buses remaining off roads, as agitating employees staged protests across the state a day earlier.

With nearly 48,000 employees boycotting their duties and state-run buses staying off roads, the RTC said alternative arrangements were made to run bus services from its own fleet.

Around 11,000 vehicles including buses were being operated.

Telangana High Court Hearing On Oct. 15

In a related development, the vacation bench of the Telangana High Court posted to October 15 the hearing on a petition that sought to declare the strike as "illegal." The government also submitted before the court a report informing it about the alternative arrangements taken.

However, the court asked the government and TSRTC to file a detailed report before it by October 15.

On Sunday, the court had directed the government to submit a report by Thursday, on the alternative arrangements made in view of the ongoing strike, besides ordering issuance of notices to two unions of RTC.

The RTC unions through their counsels submitted that as per law they had given strike notices to the government.

The petitioner submitted that citizens were facing inconvenience due to non-plying of buses and sought a direction for an amicably settlement on the issue between the government and the union.

Raising slogans against the state government, hundreds of RTC employees took out protest rallies in different places of the state and demanded that the government fulfill their demands.

In Warangal, the protesters accused the police of behaving in high-handed manner after several of them were taken into preventive custody while they were "holding protest rally in peaceful manner."

Daily commuters in the city complained of delays in plying buses and also less frequency of the vehicles.

Some even alleged that they were forced to pay more than the regular fares to auto-rickshaw drivers and other vehicles owners.

"Even after paying more than double charges, such vehicles are overcrowded and one cannot find a seat," Rafiq, a daily commuter from Golconda to Lakdi-ka-pul said.

Telangana Transport Minister P Ajay Kumar had warned of stringent action against private bus operators who overcharge passengers.

Different employees and workers unions of TSRTC began an indefinite strike from October 5 across Telangana on a call given by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of TSRTC, demanding merger of the RTC with the government, recruitment to various posts, among others.

Meanwhile, the Telangana unit of BJP sought the intervention of Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan into the ongoing issue.

"Under the circumstances, the Telangana State BJP has no option but to seek your intervention as constitutional head of the state.

In view of the large-scale hardship that the public have been facing and in view of the fact that 48,000 employees are stated to have been dismissed, the BJP seeks your intervention in restoring normalcy in the state," the party said in a memorandum to the Governor.

It also requested the Governor to instruct the government to commence discussions with the agitating employees unions and all stake-holders for early resolution of the issue.

With Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao stating that the RTC staff had "self-dismissed" themselves, the JAC of RTC with support from opposition parties had said they would intensify their ongoing agitation and call for a state-wide bandh shortly.

Condemning the government's behaviour, Telangana Mazdoor Union president E Ashwathama Reddy said the strike would continue.

"Notices were served regarding the strike... it is our lawful demand. We have not been given any notices (regarding dismissal)," he said.

Also Read | TSRTC Strike Gets Political Parties Support

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