TSRTC Buses, autos to be off the roads on August 7
TSRTC Buses, autos to be off the roads on August 7

Hyderabad: Public transportation is likely to be affected with TSRTC buses and autos to be off the roads in the state on Tuesday as the trade unions would be on one day strike against the Centre's plans to bring Motor Vehicle Act Amendment Bill.

Students and office-goers, who commute in the RTC buses and autos, would have to search for the alternative means with many of the trade unions have decided to support the strike.  All the unions in TSRTC, auto unions, drivers’ association have supported the strike call given by the All- India Coordination Committee of Road Transport Workers Organisations. 

Along with the recognised union Telangana Mazdoor Union (TMU) all other unions have already served strike notice to the TSRTC management with intention to go on strike on August 7. The TSRTC runs over 10,000 buses in the state, including over 3,000 buses in the Greater Hyderabad Zone transporting 34 lakh passengers every day. With the unions deciding to support the strike, the buses would be confined to the depots. Similarly, the auto unions JAC has also decided to support the one-day strike. There are about 2 lakh autos associated with the auto unions JAC in the state.

TSRTC Employees Union General Secretary K Raji Reddy said that all the workers would be taking part in the strike. He said that the unions, including TJMU, SWF, SWU, KP, BKU, BWU have served strike notice. Though the NMU has not given strike notice, it has agreed to support the strike. TJMU leader K Hanmanthu said that the workers will be on strike from the first service on Tuesday. The trade unions have been protesting against the Motor Vehicle Act Amendment Bill stating that it would dilute the public transport in the country. 

The Unions alleged that the Central government trying to handover the road transport sector to the corporate companies by bringing in amendments in the Motor Vehicle Act. Though the Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha, it has been sent to select committee of Parliament because of the pressure by various opposition parties. The government is trying to pass the amended bill in the current session of Parliament. The Parliament session would end on August 10.

The unions also allege that in the name of first mile connectivity and last mile connectivity, the government is trying to bring the private transporters into public transport. The unions also demanded the Centre to bring the petrol and diesel prices into GST.  Auto Unions JAC leader Mohd Amanullah Khan said that if the Centre was serious about minimising road accidents it should enforce total prohibition in the country. 

If the bill is implemented, the very existence of the drivers by profession would be endangered. JAC leader A Sathi Reddy appealed the taxi cabs, goods vehicles to participate in the strike. Telangana Auto and Motor Welfare Union general secretary M Dayanand demanded withdrawal of the Bill stating that it would take away the livelihood of the auto drivers by virtue of hefty penalties proposed in the Bill.

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