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‘Unpardonable crime’: KCR sacks 48,000 TSRTC employees as staff strike enters 3rd day

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao also ruled out taking back those who did not join duties before the deadline set by the government.

SNS | New Delhi |

Terming it as an “unpardonable crime”, the Telangana government on Sunday, in an unprecedented move, dismissed 48,000-odd employees of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) from service after they launched an indefinite strike demanding solution to their long-pending problems.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao also ruled out taking back those who did not join duties before the deadline set by the government.

Terming the strike as illegal, the Telangana government had set the deadline of 6 pm on Saturday for the striking workers to return to their duties. However, about 50,000 employees continued their strike for the third consecutive day, paralysing bus services across the state on Monday. Majority of 10,500 buses of TSRTC remained off the roads.

The agitating employees are pressing for their list of 26 demands including the merger of TSRTC with the government.

Hardening his stand, the Chief Minister ruled out merging TSRTC with the government, which is the main demand of the striking employees.

Stating that those who went on strike committed a grave mistake, he said there was no question of any compromise with them. He made it clear that there will be no talks with the striking employees.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, said that there should a permanent end to blackmail tactics, indiscipline and actions that often create headaches.

At a review meeting with top officials, KCR pressed for the appointment of new employees soon. He said the newly-recruited employees should be made to give an undertaking that they would not join any trade union.

KCR also directed the officials to immediately hire and operate 2,500 private buses. There are 4,114 private buses and if they are made into state carriages, they would also come under the TSRTC, he said.

He said a new beginning would be made in the history of TSRTC and it will be turned into a profit-making organisation. He noted that TSRTC is incurring losses to the tune of Rs 1,200 crore and has Rs 5,000 crore debts coupled with the ever-rising diesel prices.

It was decided that 50 per cent of the buses in TSRTC will be private buses while the remaining will be owned by the public utility.

The Chief Minister believes that if measures are taken in this direction and buses are run efficiently, TSRTC will become profitable in two to three years.

Meanwhile, according to reports, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Telangana RTC employees and workers’ unions had called for a huge rally at Indira Park in Hyderabad on Monday to protest against the alleged dictatorship attitude of the KCR government.

However, it was called off after the Hyderabad Police did not grant permission for the same.