Hyderabad: RTC buses are likely to go off the roads commencing from tonight. Talks between the three-member IAS officers committee and representatives of Joint Action Committee (JAC) of TSRTC employees and workers unions for third consecutive day, yielded no results. However, the RTC management decided to operate about 10,000 buses by hiring temporary services..
The JAC representatives who remained adamnant that the government give a written commitment to resolve their demands with a specific timeframe, walked out during the discussions. JAC convener E Ashwathama Reddy said with no commitment from the State government, they were left with no option but observe strike. Except for security and paramedical staff, all TSRTC workers and employees will participate in the strike commencing from tonight. Stating that the government norms including ESMA were not new to them, he urged people to cooperate with RTC staff to achieve their just demands. On the other hand, the three-member IAS officers committee comprising Special Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Principal Secretary for Transport Sunil Sharma and Principal Secretary for Finance K Ramakrishna Rao, said the State government was well-prepared to address any eventualities in the wake of RTC staff strike. The State government expedited measures to avoid any inconvenience to people travelling in RTC buses during the festive season. Accordingly, the RTC officials have commenced alternate arrangements and are planning to operate about 10,000 buses including 2,100 hired buses besides school and private buses. Staff are also being hired on a temporary basis with daily payments. Private vehicle operators including buses, autorickshaws and cabs have been warned against collecting additional charges from passengers by taking advantage of strike period. Somesh Kumar said the committee held discussions with all stakeholders and will submit its comprehensive report to the State government shortly. He requested the JAC representatives to withdraw their strike call and attend to their duties. He reiterated that the committee was not authorised to give any written commitment as it’s role was restricted to examine all aspects and submit the report with recommendations to find permanent solution to RTC problems..