The merger of the RTC into the government was a campaign promise by Jagan, which was made when he undertook a padayatra across all 13 districts of the state.

APSRTC merged into Andhra government workers now on par with govt employees
news Transport Wednesday, January 01, 2020 - 17:01

Fulfilling a long pending demand, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy issued an official notification merging Andhra Pradesh’s Road Transport Corporation (RTC) into the state government.

The government has set up a new ‘Public Transport Department’ under the administrative control of the Transport, Roads and Buildings Department.

Citing the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (Absorption of Employees into Government Service) Act, 2019, a Government Order (GO) said, “All the employees of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation shall stand absorbed into government service on and from the date of commencement of said Act.”

The move was welcomed by several RTC union leaders. The merger of the RTC into the government was a campaign promise by Jagan, which was made when he undertook a padayatra (walkathon) across all 13 districts of the state.

Speaking in the Assembly in December, Jagan had said, “Though it (the merger) would put an additional burden of Rs 3,600 crore per annum on the state exchequer, it will bring happiness to 52,000 employees and their families.”

Earlier in the week, Minister for Transport and I&PR Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) had said that Jagan had “seen the travails of the RTC staff during his state-wide padayatra and had then taken a decision to ameliorate the lot of the employees”.

At the time, the minister also said that stern action would be taken against private bus operators who charge more during the Sankranti festival. He said that people can call 8309887955 to complain against private operators who charged exorbitant fares during the festival.

After coming to power in May, Jagan had formed two panels, including an experts’ panel, to study the issue and make recommendations, as the APSRTC had accumulated losses of Rs. 6,373 crore.

The merger also comes shortly after the neighbouring state of Telangana witnessed its longest strike by RTC employees in history.

The 56-day long strike even saw the deaths of over 20 people, as an adamant Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao refused to hold talks with the striking workers. However, after they called off their strike, he assured them that the government would take welfare measures to help them.

Read: The TSRTC conundrum: Should public transportation aim for profits?

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