Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday warned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation employees of dismissal from service if they went on strike. A few RTC employees unions had threatened to go on strike from June 11 demanding a hike in salaries. Mr Rao held a review meeting in Pragathi Bhavan late on Thursday with senior officials to take stock of the situation following the strike call.
Taking a serious view, Mr Rao said, “If they go on strike, they should realise that this will remain as the last strike in the history of TSRTC. The government will not hesitate to take any stringent action to avert the strike.” He said the state has a four-crore population “It is not about just 53,000 RTC staff. The strike proposal itself is suicidal. I urge RTC staff to rethink on their strike else the government will go to any extent to protect the larger interests of the state and the people,” Mr Rao said. Mr Rao also warned of division of TSRTC into different units if the staff went on strike, saying the corporation was facing deep financial losses.
Mr Rao said the RTC had a debt burden of Rs 3,000 crore on which it was paying interest of Rs 250 crore per year. It was losing Rs 700 crore a year. “It is highly irresponsible and unjustifiable to call for a strike in this bleak scenario. If they go on strike, the RTC will suffer Rs 1.5 crore loss per day, which will add to the huge losses. The loss burden will increase to Rs 900 crore per year. Instead of going on strike, it's better the staff gives a serious thought on how to bring RTC into profits,” Mr Rao stated.
He said the TRS government had given 44 per cent fitment (pay hike) for RTC staff in 2015, the highest in the country. “Out of 96 bus depots, only nine are running in profits. There is no improvement in two years even after salary hike,” he noted. He reminded the staff that the RTC in Tamil Nadu had been divided into ten units, four in Karnataka and seven in Maharashtra. If the TSRTC staff behaved irresponsibly, the same situation would arise here, he said.
Mr Rao asked staff why the RTC was running in losses when several private travels which were borrowing money to purchase buses were running in profit even after clearing the loans. The CM said that a few unions with vested political interests were trying to damage the TSRTC and create trouble for government and common people by going on strike, which the government would not tolerate....