As predicted in Filter Kaapi yesterday, the result of the Huzurnagar byelection has impacted the RTC strike. Striking a strident note after the TRS emphatic victory, Telangana Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao made it clear that RTC in the form that it existed before the strike, will not come back.
“The strike will end RTC itself. Yes, it is going to happen. They are closing down the RTC. No one can save, it is a gone case,” said KCR.
Announcing that he will permit 7000 private buses on the road in a few days, KCR predicted that it will provide quality and comfortable transport to people at lesser fares.
The government has already informed the High court that the RTC had no money to pay the employee salaries for September and that with the economic slowdown, it had no money to help RTC monetarily.
Five questions arise here.
1. Would the employees have got no salary even if they had not gone on strike?
2. Did the government tactically allow the RTC employees to go on strike and use it to change the structure of the RTC and reduce the workforce?
3. With KCR’s plan to introduce private buses, it would also mean that a large number of RTC employees would be out without a job. In today’s bleak times of lack of employment opportunities, isn’t this a rather harsh approach? Yes, they went on strike but isn’t the state expected to be more sympathetic?
Would KCR be able to at least convince the private operators to recruit the sacked RTC employees?
4. The CM speaks of lesser fares due to more competition, like in the airline sector. From a commuter point of view, good news. But I hope it does not lead to a Redline-Blueline buses kind of situation in Delhi in the 1990s when competition to the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses by private operators led to rash driving, road rage and several deaths due to accidents on the roads.
5. Will private buses service remote areas, tribal pockets, unprofitable routes or will those routes be put in the RTC basket, making it bleed more?