ANDHRA PRADESH

RTC stir: preventive arrests lead to tension in Nellore

Private operators warned against hiking charges

Staff Reporter

NELLORECUDDAPAHCHITTOORANANTAPUR: Tension prevailed at the RTC main complex, Nellore, on Tuesday, when the police took into preventive custody 17 functionaries mainly belonging to Communist Party of India (CPI), for allegedly preventing the management from plying buses with police escort.

According to the Additional SP, D.V.S.S. Murthy, those arrested have nothing to do with the organisation. Members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC), including M. Venkateswarlu (National Mazdoor Union), V.P. Narasimha Reddy (Staff and Workers Federation) and P. Subbaiah (Employees Union), however condemned the arrests and claimed that the police had manhandled a conductor. The arrested included the party District Secretary, P. Dasaratharamaiah. They appealed to the police to understand the problems of workers and accordingly extend sympathy to them. The JAC members alleged that the safety of passengers was at stake, as inexperienced drivers/conductors were being temporarily absorbed to run the buses and in the process even the collections were not properly accounted.

Meanwhile, the Transport Department has warned of stringent action against private operators, if they arbitrarily hike charges taking advantage of the strike by RTC employees.

Dharna staged

NELLORECUDDAPAHCHITTOORANANTAPUR: The striking APSRTC workers staged dharna before Ambedkar statue here on Tuesday and vowed to continue the strike until their demands were conceded.

The RTC National Mazdoor Union Regional Secretary, Seethapathi, the Employees Union Regional Secretary, S.N.M. Reddy, Staff and Workers Federation State Committee member, Siddhaiah and Karmika Sangh Regional Secretary, Easwara Reddy, alleged that APSRTC, which earned profits till 1997, incurred losses of Rs. 1,350 crores due to lopsided policies of the TDP and present Congress Governments.

YSR's effigy burnt

Meanwhile, the AITUC activists burnt an effigy of the Transport Minister, S. Santosh Reddy, in front of the Collectorate. The AITUC district Secretary, W. Ramu and town Secretary, S.A. Sattar, charged the Government with disagreeing to bear part of the RTC losses, with a malafide intention to privatize it. RTC workers were agitating for safeguarding the corporation, but not for their personal benefit, they claimed.

The SFI district Secretary, T. Sunil, and activists burnt an effigy of the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, near Cuddapah old bus stand in support of the RTC strike.

Arrangements made

NELLORECUDDAPAHCHITTOORANANTAPUR: The district Collector, S.S.Rawat, told here on Tuesday that all alternative arrangements have been made to meet the RTC strike. The entire district has been declared as free zone and lorries, trucks were permitted to carry the passengers. The motor vehicle inspectors were placed at bus depots with instructions to send the available private buses to run on routes.

Buses damaged

NELLORECUDDAPAHCHITTOORANANTAPUR: The sufferings of the commuters increased all over the district on the second day of the strike. Only 81 services could be plied, as the resistance from the agitating employees was high. When contacted, the Anantapur Region Manager, M.N. Prakash Rao, stated that the employees' resistance was high in Anantapur, Rayadurg and Kalyanadurg. At Anantapur, the employees damaged six buses when the buses were being taken sent for their destinations.

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