RTC division: Talks fail, unions to lay siege to Bus Bhavan in city

Employees of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) are all set to lay siege to Bus Bhavan, RTC's administrative headquarters, on Thursday in support of their demand to expedite the process of bifurcating the corporation and enhancing salaries on a par with state government employees.

The talks that the RTC management held with the employees on Wednesday failed, with both sides sticking to their guns. The employees demanded a pay hike with a fitment of 62 per cent, to which the RTC managing director N Sambasiva Rao remained non-committal. He said the management would pass on the demand to the governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

“The management's response was disappointing.Instead of coming clean on its stand, it chose to pass the buck to the chief ministers of the two governments. We have decided to go ahead with our original plan of launching the agitation on Thursday ,“ said K Padmakar, general secretary of AP Employees Union (EU).

In a rare gesture, both Telangana and Seemandhra employees are coming together to put up a united fight against the RTC. The employees led by APEU and Telangana Mazdoor Union (TMU) will lay siege to the Bus Bhavan at 11 am. Union leaders also warned that the employees would strike work if their demands are not met.

“We are prepared to take forward the agitation. We will decide on the further plan of action on Thursday ,“ said TMU general secretary E Aswathama Reddy . He said the strike plan was likely to be announced during a public address before the employees embark on to lay siege to Bus Bhavan.

Meanwhile, as far as the bifurcation is concerned, the RTC management chose to limit its role to administrative division of the corporation, and leave the division of assets and liabilities among the two states to the Centre. “The management assured us of the adminis trative division of the RTC within 10 days. Blocks A and B of the Bus Bhavan are likely to be allotted to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh respectively,“ said Padmakar.

The division of the assets and liabilities is likely to be delayed since the Shiela Bhide Committee, which is mandated to look into the status of institutions mentioned under Schedule 9 and 10 of the AP State Reorganization Act 2014, is yet to start the exercise in right earnestness. The APSRTC is among the 89 institutions mentioned under the ninth schedule of the Act.

Besides, the Centre's intervention is inevitable in the bifurcation issue since the APSRTC has been created and is governed by a central Act, with the Union and state governments having 1:2 share in equity .

T MINISTERS MEET GADKARI

Signifying the gravity of the issue, Telangana minister for transport P Mahender Reddy and minister for roads and buildings Tummala Nageswar Rao called on Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari, who was on a visit to Telangana. In a meeting held in Hyderabad, Gadkari is said to have assured a speedy decision on the division of the RTC.


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