Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Monday ruled out complete privatisation of the TSRTC, and said the corporation will continue to have its identity with a major share in public transportation.
“The State government is committed to the twin objectives of ensuring that people do not face any inconvenience and at the same time strengthen the RTC and improve its services,” the Chief Minister said at a high-level meeting at Pragathi Bhavan. Chandrashekhar Rao, however, emphasised on the need to bring in discipline into the corporation to make it a profit-making organisation.
The RTC committee headed by Principal Secretary (Transport) Sunil Sharma submitted its report to the Chief Minister before the meeting. The Chief Minister, who had sought recommendations from the committee to strengthen the RTC, discussed the proposals threadbare at the meeting.
The Chief Minister said: “Of the 10,400 buses being operated by the RTC, 50 per cent vehicles will be those completely owned by RTC and the remaining fleet will be divided into two categories. One of the categories will comprise 3,100 hired buses that would be operated under the RTC management. The remaining 2,100 buses forming 20 per cent of the overall fleet will be completely privatised. All three categories must operate services to the rural areas too.”
Services on all routes
The hired RTC buses as well as private buses will be operated on all routes, including Hyderabad city, he said. The bus fares will be under the control of TSRTC in all the catogories, Chandrashekhar Rao asserted, adding that even a slight increase would mandate approval of the RTC committee. “As it is, the hired buses in the RTC fleet account for 21 per cent, and this will be increased by nine per cent. This move will also ensure some new buses joining the RTC fleet.”
Justifying the State government’s decision on reorganisation of RTC, the Chief Minister held the various RTC unions responsible for the state of affairs. The RTC unions, he said, went on strike during the tenures of the Congress and TDP in undivided Andhra Pradesh for 40 years, and were continuing in the same vein even after State formation. “Whichever party was or is in power, the attitude of the RTC unions remained the same. They have always created hurdles for RTC management and caused problems for the people as well, specially during festivals and at times of examinations,” he said, and ridiculed the call to intensify the stir, stating that there are only 1,200 RTC employees on the rolls now as far as the government and RTC management are concerned.
“The government or the RTC management need not dismiss anyone since they have indulged in self-dismissal by not reporting for duty before the deadline of 6 pm on Saturday,” he said. He pointed out that the agitating workers and employees did not report for duty despite repeated requests from the government. “The police have been directed to deploy special teams and take necessary action in case anyone makes attempts to disrupt RTC operations across the State,” he said.
Passes to continue
He promised that concessional bus passes issued to students, differently-abled, freedom fighters, journalists, family members of police martyrs and RTC employees will continue without disruption, and will be under the control of RTC. The government will bear the expenditure on these passes and make necessary allocations in the budget, he said.
The government also decided, during the meeting, that trade union operations will not be allowed in the RTC. “Since trade union members have not reported for duty and are no longer on the rolls, the unions have lost their relavance and cease to exist,” he said, adding that the government will not tolerate the monopolistic attitude of the trade unions.
“The RTC will be infused with fresh blood to improve public transport system in the State and also regain its financial health by effectively competing with other players in the field,” he said. He said all measures must be taken to ensure that people do not suffer due to such agitations in future. “The people of the State have extended their complete support to the government in all its decisions,” he said.