The Human Rights Forum is extending its wholehearted support to the striking workers of the TSRTC who are demanding the incorporation of the RTC with the government besides other demands.
Education, health and public transport are the sovereign functions of the State. People cannot remain inert. They have to move from one place to the other on their daily chores.It is their right to movement, a human right, part and parcel of the right to life and thus a Constitutional right.
Efficacy of public transport organisation should not and cannot be measured on the basis of profit it earns. However, as far as the TSRTC is concerned it is the policies of the Government that are the direct cause for losses. The government does not clear the arrears periodically. There are large sums of arrears to be cleared by the government, which fact the government does not deny and these arrears run into thousands of crores of rupees. The government does not permit the RTC to increase the fares on par with the fuel price escalation. The government is lethargic or a mere spectator or sometimes facilitator to the private operators to run the contract carriages as stage carriages. The immovable properties of the RTC are being used by the powers that be as a source of eternal income, which income as of right should go to RTC. Even fuel bunks allotted to and located in the open spaces of the RTC are cornered by the influential political leaders who have close links with the people in ppwer. Such acts adversely affect the profit making capacity of the RTC and therefore, the government should take over the TSRTC and run it as one of its departments.
The government’s propaganda machinery is throwing the blame on the workers who work day in and day out for the losses. The principal aim of this propaganda is to pave the way for privatising the public transport system in Telangana.
The management is not paying the wages to the workers for the period they worked in October. This is atrocious.
As long as the Govt does not find a solution to the strike it continues to infringe the people’s right to movement.
The Telangana state government’s heaf should keep aside his ego and immediately call the representatives of the unions to find a solution to end the strike and thus revive the People’s right to movement.
Gorrepati Madhava Rao
Human Rights Forum(HRF)