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Karimnagar: Passengers stranded as RTC indefinite strike begins

Karimnagar: In the wake of the failure of negotiations that were held by the three-member committee with the RTC unions, the RTC workers of 10 bus depots went on a strike here in Karimnagar district on Saturday.

Hundreds of passengers were stranded at bus stations across the district and people travelling to their destinations for Dasara and Bathukamma festivals faced severe inconvenience as over RTC buses remained confined to the bus depots.

The leaders of the Road Transport Corporation Joint Action Committee (RTC-JAC) appealed to the RTC employees that they need not worry and should not discharge duties and fight peacefully until the government fulfills their justifiable demands.

Meanwhile, the government is striving hard to provide transport facilities to the people in the festive season and by arranging police security is running the buses by appointing temporary drivers and conductors.

Speaking to the Hans India, the RTC regional manager Jeevan Prasad Lal said that out 850 buses, around 336 buses are running to various important places for the convenience of the people. On Sunday, another 300 buses will be arranged keeping in view the heavy rush of passengers.

Around 3,862 RTC workers of 10 bus depot including 1,444 drivers and 1,555 conductors other staff are participating in the participating. As many as 600 security and medical staff are given exemption from strike. The RTC has hired1,635 private buses from various educational institutions meet the demand, he informed. The RTC union TMU leader speaking on the occasion alleged that before elections, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Raod had promised the RTC employees that he would merge the RTC into the government and would give salaries at par with the government employees but he backed out and deceived the RTC employees after coming to the power.

He is trying to exert pressure on the RTC employees by threatening them of losing their jobs and is behaving like a monarch. CM KCR is playing with the lives of people. Appointing inexperience drivers is a risky thing and may lead to accidents. If any such incidents occur, then government should take the responsibility of that and must answer to the people, he pointed out.

The government is creating problems to the people at the festival time who wish to reach their native places to celebrate the festival on a grand note, he added.

The Telangana Jana Samiti chief Prof. Kondaram speaking in Jagtial district said that after the formation of Telangana, 6,500 RTC workers have been retired. But recruitment hasn't been happening since them. Every year 10 percent of the buses wear and tear due to various reasons. Instead of replacing these buses with new ones the government is behaving negligently.

Moreover, the government should bare Rs 23 subsidy for 1 litre. The government should immediately clear the debt of RTC which is around Rs 20,100 crore, he demanded.

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