The stage is set for a major transformation in the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC). Taking advantage of the strike by 48000-odd employees, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has decided to go in for part privatisation of the corporation. What is expected to be the face of the bus corporation?
The Ten Takeaways :
1. The Telangana government is to consider only 1200 employees on its rolls as 48000 employees, in KCR’s opinion, have “dismissed themselves”.
2. The Unions are likely to approach the Telangana High court to challenge the government’s decision after they are officially served with termination notices.
3. The government has decided to part privatise the TSRTC, with about 2100 buses to be run and maintained entirely by private players. This will be about 20 per cent of the fleet. The opposition Congress alleges this was KCR’s plan all along to push the TSRTC into private hands.
4. Of the 10400 buses in the TSRTC fleet right now, only 5200 are owned by the corporation. The TSRTC would run only these buses with its staff.
5. Close to 3100 buses are hired by the TSRTC. This number would be increased by another 300 buses and will also be managed by the RTC.
6. No trade unionism to be allowed in the TSRTC
7. Unions say the drivers are forced to operate an ageing fleet that have run much more than they ideally should, compromising the safety of the passengers. They say people need to know that no fresh funds are being infused to buy new buses.
8. TSRTC Unions ask when Andhra Pradesh whose APSRTC has the same DNA can make the transport employees as government employees, why can’t Telangana?
9. Questions over whether the dismissal order will stand legal scrutiny. Especially when no show-cause notice was issued nor any explanation taken from the employees.
10. TSRTC unions say they gave the strike call notice on 3 September. They claim the government did not respond to them till a month later. They say the responsibility of putting the commuters to inconvenience is because of the government’s attitude.