Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is reported to have decided to call for a Cabinet meeting within a week to take a formal decision to issue permits to private players on 3,000 to 4,000 bus routes in the state and end the mon-opoly of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC).
Sources in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) disclosed that Mr Rao, after having discussed with some ministers close to him and senior officers, had taken a decision to call a Cabinet meeting within the next four to five days to issue route permits the private bus operators.
Sources disclosed that Mr Rao had “taken the decision keeping in view the sufferings of the people because of the strike by RTC workers” for 24 days. The response from private operators to tenders floated by the RTC to issue route permits for 1,000 buses in state also served as a morale booster in reaching the decision. The RTC had received thousands of applications in response to its tenders.
Mr Rao told officials that the Motor Vehicle (Amen-dment) Act, 2019, empowered states to issue private routes permits to run private buses. Mr Rao felt that the blackmail politics of RTC trade unions forced the government to issue permits to private operators, which will pave the way for good transportation services for the public, sources revealed.
Given the precarious financial condition of the RTC, Mr Rao felt, it could declared as a bad debt by banks at any moment.
He believes that issuing of permits to private operators would encourage a healthy competition in public transportation sector, sources added.
Since the RTC strike issue was presently being heard by the High Court, Mr Rao felt that the issue was in for a long drawn legal battle, and may eventually go to the Supreme Court.
The Chief Minister made it abundantly clear that the government could not behave like a mute spectator while the issue was resolved in court. It was the job of the government to serve the rescue people in the meanwhile.