The Telangana Chief Minister's Office on Monday issued a statement warning striking Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) staff that if they fail to resume duty by the deadline of November 5, the state government will not take back.
"The State government has decided not to take back on duty those Road Transport Corporation (RTC) employees and workers, who fail to report to duty by Tuesday midnight," Telangana CMO said in a statement.
The government on Monday also made it clear that if the workers and employees do not join the duties by the expiry of the deadline, in the rest of 5,000 routes, private buses will be given permits and then there would not be any entity called RTC in the state.
The statement comes in the wake of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's announcement in a state Cabinet decision late on Saturday night which set November 5 deadline for striking RTC employees to return to work. He also announced a decision to open up 5,100 routes of the 10,400 to the private sector and setting up a transport regulatory commission to regulate operations.
Meanwhile, in a press release issued by Sunil Sharma, Managing Director TSRTC, gave a list of offices where the RTC employees who wanted to return could submit their joining letters. The list includes District Collector and Superintendent of Police.
The chief minister held a review meeting at Pragati Bhavan here on Monday in the backdrop of ongoing RTC strike and the High Court hearings on the matter.
Minister Sri Puvvada Ajay Kumar, Chief Advisor to the government Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary SK Joshi, senior officials S Narsing Rao, Ramakrishna Rao, Sunil Sharma, Sandeep Sultania, Arvind Kumar, Lokesh Kumar, Advocate General (AG) Sivananda Prasad, Additional AG Ramachandra Rao and others participated.
"The government has given a good opportunity to the workers and employees by giving them a deadline by Tuesday midnight to join duties. The future of the workers and their families are not in the hands of anyone else. It is totally in the hands of workers to protect their jobs," the Telangana CMO said in a statement.
"The Telangana state would become RTC less State. And the workers will be held solely responsible for this," the meeting observed.
"The RTC union leaders are misleading workers and employees showing the High Court hearing of the case. But according to legal experts, the High Court has not given any directives on the strike to the government. There is nothing the court can do. If the High Court verdict is contrary, having come this far on the matter, both the RTC and government would appeal in the Supreme Court. If the case goes to the Supreme Court the matter would be delayed much further. Going by the past experiences, the case in the Supreme Court may drag on for months and years to come. It will become a never-ending battle. Hence this will not do any good to the workers," said the statement released after the meeting.
Employees of the TSRTC have been on strike for the past few weeks now. Earlier this week, they intensified their indefinite protest against the sacking of over 40,000 employees by the state government.
During the ongoing protest, a few TSRTC employees have lost their lives either by committing suicide or depressed by the demonstration.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of TSRTC has been on a strike since October 5 demanding merger of the corporation with the state government and revision of pays among other demands.
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