Telangana

TSRTC Strike enters third day, unions defy CM

RTC buses parked at a depot in Hyderabad

RTC buses parked at a depot in Hyderabad   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

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Police foil the attempts of the TSRTC Joint Action Committee from converging at Dharna Chowk to carry out a hunger strike

The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation strike entered the third day on Monday with employees staying off duty and fewer bus services in operation.

Several TSRTC Joint Action Committee leaders such were detained at Gun Park where they had converged to state a protest. Their protest-hunger strike, scheduled at Dharna Chowk, was postponed. Leaders such as K. Raji Reddy, Thomas Reddy and Ashwathama Reddy were detained and taken to different police stations. They were released later in the day.

After release, JAC leaders said that their detention only strengthened their resolve. “The Chief Minister thinks he can do what Jayalalitha (former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister) did. There is no way he can remove us. We gave a strike notice in line with the laws. Our demand is genuine. As you can see, none of the employees reported to work,” Thomas Reddy said.

Another leader, K. Raji Reddy maintained that employees would not back down, but continue with the strike. He also said that courts of law are available to challenge the CMs decision of removing around 50,000 striking employees.

In an interesting development, TSRTC JAC leaders such as Mr. Ali reached Masjid-e-Judi, where Nizam VII and RTC founder Mir Osman Ali Khan is buried, and prayed that the transport juggernaut is saved from being ‘mishandled’ by the Telangana government.

TSRTC JAC leaders reiterated their stand against any form of privatisation. They said also expressed their anguish and resentment against private operators being given stage carriage permits. They said that TSRTC is for the public and should be kept as such.

Union leaders said that a host of prominent politicians from parties such as the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, left parties and other organisations have extended support ‘wholeheartedly’. A meeting with them is planned on Wednesday.

TSRTC management sought to normalise the situation in the city as it deployed buses to meet the rush of office-goers and commuters across the city. But despite 3,063 temporary drivers and conductors reporting to duty the bus services remained wobbly.

According to officials, as many as 1,029 buses were pressed into service on Monday to tackle the rush. While 691 buses were from TSRTC’s fleet, 338 were on hire basis. Till 4 pm in the state, as many as 3,105 RTC buses, 2,013 hired buses and 5,118 private vehicles were operated.

In an incident late on Sunday night, a TSRTC bus, driven by a temporary driver, was involved in an accident near Bollarum. A person identified as Suresh, who was driving a car was injured. Bollarum inspector P. Ramesh Reddy clarified that the temporary driver was not at fault and a complaint has been registered against Mr. Suresh. “There were no passengers in the bus, and the victim Suresh was alone in the car. The bus driver is not at fault,” Mr. Reddy said.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 1:19:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/tsrtc-strike-enters-third-day-fewer-buses-on-roads/article29615414.ece

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