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Unions raise demand for lockdown in RTC

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Highlights

  • Demand comes in the wake of RTC staff falling victim to coronavirus
  • More than 200 employees, including drivers and conductors, were tested Covid positive
  • 16 employees have died so far

Hyderabad: With over 200 employees getting tested positive and deaths in double digit, the TSRTC unions are demanding 'lockdown in RTC' and also want the management to provide medical facilities to the staff at Tarnaka Hospital.

According to the union leaders, more than 200 employees, including drivers and conductors, were tested Covid positive. Though it is not sure (in many cases) how the employees have tested positive, the union leaders argue that the staff contracted the virus while performing duties.

The union leaders said that though the government was giving an official figure of 12 deaths, unofficially 16 employees have died so far. TSRTC Telangana Jathiya Mazdoor Union general secretary said, "The TSRTC staff were undergoing mental trauma with deaths of their fellow staff members. Even though the employees are performing duties taking risks, they were not getting basic requirements like masks, sanitizers and PPE kits.

The conductors in the buses were seen carrying sanitizer bottles and wearing a cloth mask. The thermal screening guns were not available which gives scope for the entry of a Covid positive person into the bus in the middle of the journey. In a bus going towards Zaheerabad from Hyderabad no physical distancing was followed and the bus was full of passengers, said K Sandeep Kumar, who was also travelling in the bus. The conductor was applying sanitizers to the passengers who were boarding the bus.

Hanumanthu said that the management should provide a compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the families of the deceased employees. The AP government which absorbed the APSRTC staff was providing Rs 50 lakh as ex-gratia and there was nothing of these sort in TSRTC, said Hanumanthu.

"If the RTC cannot save the employees, it is better to implement lockdown, which looks only way out and this would help the staff to save themselves from the pandemic," he said.

The union leaders had earlier demanded the management to start Covid treatment in the Tarnaka Hospital of the Corporation. The government should start Covid treatment with at least 50 beds in the hospital so that the precious lives can be saved, demanded various union leaders.

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