Dharna of APTDC staff enters 15th day
Tirupati: The dharna of the daily wage and outsourcing employees belonging to the AP Tourism Development Corporation demanding parity in the payment...
Tirupati: The dharna of the daily wage and outsourcing employees belonging to the AP Tourism Development Corporation demanding parity in the payment of their wages along with the contract workers, has entered the 15th day on Monday, thus, seriously affecting the profits of the corporation. The impact is being felt more in the temple town of Tirupati, where large numbers of devotees visit every day. According to reports, the Tourism department was losing Rs 1.5 lakh every day, when the employees were on strike. During the summer holidays, more pilgrims visit Tirupati and 20 bus services were pressed into services. But, with the strike, five services have been cancelled. The services of more than 125 employees within the Tirupati region, comprising Nellore and Chittoor divisions were being outsourced. On account of the ongoing strike, the officials of the APTDC have cancelled the package tours for pilgrims to different local temples in Tirupati and they were being taken only to Lord Venkateswara temple on the Tirumala hills, thus, resulting in the fall of income for the Tirupati division drastically. With both the tourism department and the striking employees taking rigid stands, there seems to be no solution in sight. However, the APTDC Tirupati division manager Pratap Reddy, speaking to The Hans India here on Monday, said that the services of all those participating in the strike violating the guidelines have been terminated and they were exploring other options to make alternative arrangements for the pilgrims. He said that it was true that the corporation was incurring heavy losses. Pratap Reddy said that the Tourism Development Corporation would impart training and select the staff in future. Speaking to The Hans India, CITU leader Purushottam Reddy said that they would not be cowed down by the threats of the APTDC and threatened that they would intensify their agitation till their demands were met. He said that the employees were being put to immense hardships.