TS RTC Strike Ends: Buses Start from today

While Telangana govt staff gets a salary fitment of 44%, AP to give 43 per cent

The eight-day strike by about 1.20 lakh employees of the ailing Road Transport Corporation in the two States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh has ended today with both the governments agreeing to meet their demands.

While the Telangana Government has announced a fitment of 44 per cent, the Andhra Pradesh Government agreed to give a fitment of 43 per cent, ending the strike that crippled public transportation in the two States.

The public utility is one of the biggest transportation entities in the world with a fleet of over 20,000 buses but languishing in financial woes with accumulated losses touching the Rs. 400-crore mark.

The utility has about 57,000 employees in Telangana and 62,000 in Andhra Pradesh. Though the State is bifurcated about a year ago, the utility is yet to be divided.

The employees have been demanding that they should get a fitment of 43 per cent on par with their peers in the respective Governments. The Government employees have recently got a revision in the hike in both States.

The High Court has intervened in the issue and asked the employees to get back to work. It threatened with contempt notices to the employees if they fail to do so. Both the Governments set up Cabinet Sub-committees to settle the issues.

Addressing a press conference after the discussions with the leaders of Telangana RTC, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao has said that the staff would get arrears (to the tune of Rs. 1,800 crore) in three tranches spread over one year. It puts an additional burden of Rs. 800 crore on the corporation.

The first tranche will be given on Dasara, followed by the second on Ugadi (Telugu New Year) next year. The government moots to give 50 per cent of the arrears in the form of bonds.

Stating that public transportation utilities in urban areas had been making losses across the world, he said it was the responsibilities of the urban civic bodies to chip in. He asked the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to give Rs. 200 crore a year to support the ailing utility.

He assured that the government would provide for funds in the annual Budget for the RTC.