Hyderabad: Starting their day at 3.30 am and working up to 11 pm, depot managers and the few personnel who did not go on strike are being overburdened with work at all RTC depots. This ordeal has been the order of the day from the moment the strike began on October 5. They have not taken a single day off.
Earlier, on any normal day, each depot would have a staff of above 500, including drivers and conductors.
Today, it is a pale shadow of the good old days. On Wednesday, an over-stressed Bhadrachalam depot manager, B. Srinivas Rao, fainted.
He had been on duty for 19 consecutive days. He is still in the hospital, undergoing treatment and is said to be stable.
Doctors attending to him said that he fainted due to low blood pressure caused by acute tiredness.
One of the depot managers, on condition of anonymity, said “We got into duties presuming that the strike would end in a day or two. Now, it has prolonged to more than 20 days and we are clueless about when it would end.”
He clarified that there are only about six to seven regular staff, including security personnel. There are about a couple of computer operators, outsourced along with private drivers and conductors, whose numbers keep changing depending on the availability.
Another depot manager from the city narrated his woes.
“I wake up at 3.15 am and rush to the depot by 3.45 am, so as to start services by 6 am, in order to ensure the plying of more trips for the benefit of commuters.
However, private drivers do not turn up on time and it, invariably delays schedule. All through the day, difficulties in recruiting drivers and conductors, allotting services, collecting and giving money, compiling data and other administrative work continue, all of which end by 11-12 pm. We are able to sleep for only 90 minutes, still disturbed by calls from panic-stricken passengers and drivers about breakdowns.”
The situation is similar in all 97 TSRTC depots. The existing staff is drained, both physically and mentally....