Hyderabad: The Cabinet on Saturday decided unanimously not to merge the TSRTC with the government and issued a fresh deadline to the striking workers to unconditionally join duty by the midnight of November 5. Otherwise, the Cabinet said, the state will not have a road transport corporation.
The Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao also resolved to issue permits for a total of 5,100 routes being operated by the RTC to private operators,
Announcing the decisions taken by the Cabinet, Mr Rao said the RTC was running 2,100 buses on hire. An additional 3,000 routes would given to private operators. He said profit-making routes will be retained with the RTC. The government will set up a commission to regulate tariff for the private operators.
Mr Rao said that if the workers failed to return to duty, it would be their fault. In that case, the Chief Minster said the government would release the remaining 5,000 buses to private operators.
Stating that the government had nothing against the RTC workers, Mr Rao asked them not to fall into the trap of trade unions. He said the RTC unions and Opposition parties were responsible for the suicide and deaths of RTC workers.
Mr Rao said the government wanted to run the RTC with private partners in a 50:50 ratio to maintain a level playing field and provide healthy competition. The allegations of Opposition parties that the TSRTC assets would be divided with the APSRTC are false, Mr Rao said adding that the Centre has already notified the TS corporation.
He said the RTC strike was meaningless and the workers had gone on strike against the government’s advice. The joint commissioner of labour has declared the strike illegal; once this happens, relations between the management and workers are cut off.
He said there was no compulsion on the part of the government to implement the schemes and programmes of AP.
Mr Rao asked the BJP why it had not protested when the Centre had enacted the law that allowed 50 per cent private services in RTCs....