Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has ruled out softening his stand over sacking of employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC). The Chief Minister has ordered Director-General of Police Mahender Reddy to arrest anybody who tries to disrupt bus services. "We are not shaken or afraid. We won't tolerate any attempt to stop buses or organise protests at bus depots," KCR said. Employees and workers unions of TSRTC have been on an indefinite strike from October 5 across Telangana, demanding merger of the RTC with the government and recruitment to various posts, among others.
This came after a driver belonging to the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) on Saturday allegedly committed suicide by setting himself ablaze in his house. Srinivas Reddy, working in the Khammam depot, who is on a strike for the past one week, poured petrol on his person and set himself afire. He was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
A senior official of the district told news agency PTI that the drivers condition is critical and his family is planning to take him to Hyderabad for better treatment.
The neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh had recently merged the state’s transport department with the government and further increased the retirement age to sixty years.
The group of unions have submitted 26 demands including an increase in pay scale. Other demands include RTC being exempted from taxes, child care holidays for women employees, purchase of new buses and removal of hired buses, clearing dues to the corporation owed by the government, and allowing the Corporation to undertake parcel and courier services.
The last time the KCR-led government hiked the salaries of the TRC employees by 44 per cent was in 2015 when the workers demonstrated for their rights.
Taking a tough stand on the strike, the Chief Minister had made it clear that under no circumstances the RTC would be merged into the government.
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