Telangana extends holidays for schools in view of RTC strike



The government of Telangana on Saturday extended till October 19 Dasara holidays for the educational institutions in view of the ongoing indefinite strike by the employees of state-run Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC).

All the government-run and private schools were to open on Monday after 15-day long Dasara and Bathukamma holidays.

Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao announced on Saturday that the holidays were being extended to avoid any inconvenience to the students due to the strike.

At a review meeting with ministers and top officials, he said the second Saturday should be declared working day for schools and if necessary classes should be run on other holidays to cope up with the syllabus.

The announcement came even as the striking employees decided to intensify the protest and called for state-wide shutdown on October 19.

KCR, as the chief minister is popularly known, directed officials to operate 100 per cent RTC buses in next three days.

He said the government would deal firmly with any attempt to create disturbances at the bus depots and bus stations. He said the government would not bow to threats and asked Director General of Police Mahender Reddy to beef up security at bus stations and bus depots.

He reiterated that the ongoing strike is illegal and the government will not hold talks with those on strike under any circumstances.

He once again made it clear that there is no question of taking back the employees who dismissed themselves by not joining the duties.

KCR directed that those not participating in the strike and attending their duties be paid salary for the month of September.

The Chief Minister wanted officials to recruit employees to operate 50 per cent RTC buses. Another 30 per cent buses will be run on hired basis while stage carriage route permits will be issued to 20 per cent private buses.

He asked officials to utilize the services of retired RTC and police drivers to restore normal operations in RTC.

Slamming the union leaders he said they acted irresponsibly and blamed them for 48,000 employees losing their jobs.

He said there was no question of pardoning those who went on strike during festival and caused losses to RTC.

KCR lashed out at the opposition parties for backing the strike to derive political mileage. He said the opposition would not succeed in their design as they lacked people's support. Targeting the BJP, he said its leaders in Telangana were raising a hue and cry but their own government at the Centre is privatizing Indian Railways and Airlines and resorting to disinvestment from public sector companies. IANS