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Alert bus conductor saves passengers in Andhra


An alert conductor of a state-owned APSRTC bus averted a tragedy after the driver fell off the vehicle after a collision with a car.

Passengers of the bus heaved a sigh of relief after the conductor took to the steering and controlled the vehicle after it had moved about 150 meters without a driver.

The incident occurred on national highway near Kavali town in Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore district on Wednesday. The bus belonging to Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) with 24 passengers was on its way from Kavali to Nellore town.

According to police, a speeding car coming from the opposite direction rammed into the bus. Such was the impact of the collision that the bus driver fell off the vehicle onto the road.

The collision sent panic among bus passengers as the vehicle continued moving without the driver. As the passengers started crying for help, conductor Nagaraju jumped to the driving seat and applied brakes, averting a disaster.

The driver and 10 passengers of the bus received minor injuries in the collision. The car’s front portion was badly mangled in the collision but both the occupants survived with injuries.

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Vijay Sai telling lies on Rs 6,000 Cr losses of RTC?


Vijay Sai Reddy is indisputably one leader who is always there to defend CM Jagan Reddy even in the most challenging circumstances. The RTC issue has become a big embarrassment for the Jagan regime since the beginning. It is because Jagan has made repeated promises to breathe new life into the RTC and thereby carve out a golden future for the employees and their children.

But after coming to power, it is becoming an increasingly difficult task. Jagan has merged the RTC with the Government but that has not satisfied the employees’ demands for benefits. Now, the RTC losses became another troublesome issue. RTC Managing Director RP Thakur has recently announced that the RTC is now bogged down in Rs. 6,000 Cr losses.

This statement has gone totally opposite to the one made by Vijay Sai Reddy. The MP has asserted that the RTC has hit the profit-making phase under the Jagan rule. On the other hand, the RTC MD has given a different picture. The increased diesel rates in AP have also hit the RTC very badly here.

Eventually, doubts are arising whether Vijay Sai is telling lies only to protect the image of Jagan Reddy. Whatever, the RTC situation is not better than the Visakha Steel Plant except that it won’t fall in the full privatisation category.

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AP buses don’t roll out of depots under ‘Bharat Bandh’ effect


The ‘Bharat Bandh’ had a clear impact on the general life in Andhra Pradesh. The buses and vehicles were stalled in view of the protests begun by the farmers’ associations and the left parties at all the depots. The Government offices have also decided to close down till 1 p.m. as per the bandh call given by the protesters.

The nationwide bandh has drawn support from over 24 political parties including the main Opposition party Congress at the national level. The farmers’ associations are demanding total rollback of the three agricultural Bills introduced by the Modi-led Government in the Parliament.

The farmers were also demanding the withdrawal of the Electricity Bill 2020. There has been a non stop agitation against the proposed fixing of the electricity meters on the agricultural pumpsets.

The farmers’ associations are taking special objection to the three farm bills, saying that these bills would throw the farmers at the mercy of the corporate companies in future.

Most Opposition leaders especially Mamata Banerjee have opposed the farmers bills saying that they were aimed at a dangerous corporatisation of agriculture.

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Buses ahoy! TS & AP RTCs end stalemate over bus services


The stalemate over the running of RTC buses between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana has finally ended with the managing directors of the two state-owned corporations agreeing to resume the bus services between the two states. State-run bus services remained suspended since the last more than six months.

The two MDs of state-owned corporations have signed an MoU agreeing to restore inter-state bus services between the two states. Bus services remained suspended since March 24, since the complete lockdown was announced. Even after both the government’s eased lockdown regulations, bus services remained suspended as both the states had locked horns over the lucrative Vijayawada-Hyderabad sector. Hyderabad and Vijayawada route is one of the busiest routes in both the States. Telangana insisted that Andhra Pradesh must forego the profitable route operations.

As per the MoU signed on Monday by the MDs of TSRTC and APSRTC, TSRTC will run 826 buses across 1,61,258 km in AP, while APSRTC will operate 638 buses in Telangana across 1,60,999 km. On the Vijayawada route and beyond, TSRTC will operate across 52,944 km with 273 buses in AP, while APSRTC will run 192 buses across 52,524 km in Telangana.

The RTC MDs held several round of consultations, but were not fruitful. Since bifurcation, APSRTC has been operating buses on 2.5 lakh route kilometres in Telangana while TSRTC used to run buses on 1.5 lakh route km in AP.

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APSRTC lays off over 6,200 contract employees


The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has laid off 6,270 contract employees citing financial crisis due to Covid-19 lockdown, APSRTC Employees’ Union claimed on Friday.

It said that the management through oral orders had asked the contract workers not to report for duties.

The depot managers were directed to utilise the services of only outsourcing staff. There are 52,000 regular employees in the corporation.

The employees’ union has appealed to Transport Minister Perni Nani to reconsider the orders to lay off the contract employees. The union leaders pointed out that the central government has issued clear instructions that there should be no lay-offs in government or private organizations during the lockdown.

They recalled that the state government too had assured in the past that the contract workers will not be removed from service.

As many as 6,270 contract workers are rendering their services in APSRTC head office in Vijayawada, offices of the regional managers, bus depots, workshops and hospitals. Majority of them are sweepers, attenders and grade-4 employees.

“We were demanding that the 7,800 regular vacancies be filled to ease the workload on existing staff. The management took this drastic decision to axe the contract workers,” said employees’ union general secretary P Damodara Rao.

The employees’ union said the contract workers were not even paid salaries for the month of April.

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Jagan merged RTC with government but not employees?


APSRTC Employees Unions are slowly raising their banner of revolt against CM Jaganmohan Reddy on the issue of their pensions and retirement benefits. When Jagan fulfilled his election promise on RTC merger with the government, all the employees heaped praise on the CM. They thought that they would become eligible for all benefits like the other government employees automatically. But, slowly they realised how Jagan Circar is misleading them on their employment status. Though RTC has become part of the government, the RTC employees are not being treated as government employees.

As a result, RTC unions one by one started holding protests against Jagan Circar. Recently, these protests are threatening to intensify into a full scale agitation. Alarmed at this, Minister Perni Nani is using strange logic to get the sympathy of employees. He says that CM Jagan Reddy closely follows the advice of Telangana CM KCR. But, Jagan has not followed KCR advice on the merger issue. Nani’s point apparently is that CM Jagan is very friendly to the employees. What Nani didn’t realise is that the employees can no longer be misled. They will certainly start agitation if they are not treated exactly like government employees soon.

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APSRTC makes huge profits out of TSRTC Strike


For a change, it is advantage to Andhra while Telangana is facing a crisis due to RTC Strike. Till now, there is one way traffic. KCR went on plundering resources of Andhra one by one and thereby he won the hearts of Telangana society. But RTC Strike has reversed the trend, hopefully.

Andhra officials say that the APSRTC made a record profit of Rs 229 Cr during this festival season. This is Rs 20 Cr in excess of the 2018 dasara season profit of Rs 209 Cr. This could be possible as APSRTC swung into action and actively cashed in on the ongoing RTC Strike in the neighbouring state.

APSRTC Officials ran services to more routes in Telangana during dasara season from September 27 to October 13. Over 6000 special services were operated. All these buses ran packed with passengers. APSRTC achieved 103 occupancy ratio during the season. From this, it is clear how KCR showdown with his state employees benefitted Andhra.

Analysts say that the worst phase is over for Andhra. Telangana society no longer listens to anti-Andhra sentiment but it is demanding better opportunities and jobs from KCR Regime.

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Surendra Babu transfer: APSRTC in reverse gear?


Senior IPS Officer NV Surendra Babu has been known for his honesty and work ethic. Very unusually, he was the only officer who was transferred out of APSRTC without any posting. Hours after his transfer, the RTC invited tenders for buying electric buses on a large scale. Reports say that Megha Krishna Reddy company is going to supply these buses now. This probably explains the mystery behind Surendra Babu transfer. If he continues as RTC MD, there’s no way Jagan Regime could get away with what it wants.

Political and Secretariat Official circles are full of rumours that the government is playing another reverse game this time with the sensitive RTC. With great difficulty, Surendra Babu kept RTC running without major losses till now. Transport Principal Secretary Krishna Babu is given additional charge of RTC MD.

Speculation is that Jagan Circar is all out to favour and help Megha Krishna Reddy in return for his support to make re-tendering of Polavaram project a success.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Andhra cabinet approves APSRTC’s merger with government


The Andhra Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday approved merger of loss-making state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) with the government.

The cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, accepted the proposal made by an experts’ panel in this regard.

All 52,000 employees of APSRTC will now be treated as government employees in the Public Transport Department. Their retirement age will be increased to 60 years from existing 58 years on par with other government employees.

The services of all contract employees in the corporation will continue and they will now be treated as the contract employees in the Transport Department.

The merger will put an additional annual burden of Rs 330 crore on the public exchequer.

Transport Minister Perni Venkatramaiah told reporters after the cabinet meeting that an ordinance will be issued for the merger.

The modalities of merger will be prepared in 15 days and the entire process will be completed in three months.

Jagan Mohan Reddy, during his election campaign, had promised to merge the APSRTC with the state government. After coming to power in May, he formed two panels including an experts’ panel to study the issue and make recommendations.

The APSRTC had accumulated losses of Rs. 6,373 crore. The government proposes to run more electrical buses to control the losses.

In another key decision, the cabinet approved the new sand policy. The sand will be priced Rs 375 per tonne and public can book the same online. A geo tracking system will be implemented to enable the customers to track the truck assigned to deliver the sand.

The YSRCP government had banned sand mining after coming to power, leading to sharp increase in sand prices.

In another decision, the cabinet approved a scheme to provide Rs 10,000 annual financial assistance to those driving their own passenger auto-rickshaws and cars. This will benefit four lakh beneficiaries. The government will set aside Rs 400 crore for this scheme.

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