After an indefinite stir launched by the employees of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) for over a month, chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao might be on the road to end the stalemate by agreeing to pay heed to their long-pending demand and provide a salary hike.
KCR has instructed the Pay Revision Comission (PRC) in the state to look into the matter and submit a report within 10-12 working days. According to sources, the readjusted settlement will be finalised after KCR personally meets the employee unions.
This assumes significance in the backdrop of massive protests organised by RTC employees against the corporation that did not pay the workers their salaries for two months, while bringing in ire of the people for the government for failing to provide bus transport in full by breaking the deadlock.
RTC trade unions says that without a source of livelihood, financial problems coupled by the mental trauma, has driven several innocent employees to commit suicide. However, they now hope that the government will announce the PRC in January as a New Year’s gift and put an end to their woes.
The government decision will benefit about 3.5 lakh employees and two lakh pensioners in the state.
Almost all the employees ignored the government's final deadline to return to work, which ended November 5 midnight. Less than 500 employees resumed their duties.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had warned the employees that if they failed to return, there would be no entity called RTC in the state. He had also threatened to privatise the remaining 5,000 bus routes.
The state cabinet on November 2 had decided to issue permits to private operators to run buses on 5,100 routes.
The Telangana High Court on Thursday had asked the state government to look into the employees' demands and take steps to resolve the issue by November 11, when the next hearing on Public Interest Litigations (PILs) is scheduled. The court appealed to the government to reconsider its hard stand on the strike.
The court observed that both the government and the TSRTC are not coming forward to resolve the issue. It also found fault with the officials for submitting contradictory reports with regard to the money the government owes to the TSRTC towards reimbursement of the travel concession given to different categories of commuters.