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You can only revive, not shut down, RTC, Shabbir Ali tells KCR

Fri, Jun 17, 2016, 06:41 PM
Leader of Opposition in Telangana State Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Friday condemned Chief Minister K. Chandrasekar Rao for suggesting the closure of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC).

Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan, Shabbir Ali said that the RTC employees had played a major role during the Telangana statehood movement and, therefore, the State Government must take steps to resolve their grievances.

He said that instead of sanctioning special grants and taking other steps, the Chief Minister had simply suggested that he would shut down the corporation. Some government agencies could not be judged just on the basis of mere profits or losses that they make. RTC gives free/concessional passes to students and other sections, operates buses in remote and rural areas despite thin traffic and undertakes other services which are not profitable. He said it is the duty of the State Government to support the RTC to ensure that it continued to give better services to the people.

"KCR had praised RTC employees and their role in Telangana movement on multiple occasions. But when it came to helping them and reviving the institution, KCR is behaving in an autocratic manner, even threatening to close down the RTC," he said.

"KCR has no authority to shut down the RTC. He cannot play with the lives of over 55,000 employees. As a CM, KCR is only the custodian and not the owner of government institutions. The Congress party will completely support the agitation to protect the interests of RTC employees," he said.

Shabbir Ali also demanded that the Telangana Government either cancel the Power Purchase Agreement with Chattisgarh or revise the rates. He said that the Telangana Govt would be buying power at higher rates from Chattisgarh. Presently, the market price is somewhere between Rs. 3.50 and Rs. 4 per unit. However, Chattisgarh is charging Rs. 1 to Rs. 1.50 extra for each unit. Therefore, the Telangana Govt would lose Rs. 750-1000 crore per annum if it buys power from Chattisgarh. Similarly, the Telangana State would lose at least Rs. 10,000 crore if it buys 1,000 MW for 12 years as per the agreement.

He said there was shortage of power earlier. But the UPA Regimes, from 2004-2014, took several steps to turn India into a power surplus country. A total of 16 Ultra Mega Power Projects with each having a capacity of 4,000 MW were started during the UPA regime. Now those projects are getting commissioned one after the other and, therefore, no State in India will witness any power crisis in future.

Speaking about the country's biggest flag, Shabbir Ali said that the TRS Government adopted an unscientific approach in installing the biggest flag which caused it huge damage more than four times in the last 15 days. "KCR is basically a single-headline CM. He does something, hits the headline and then forgets it. On June 2, he hosted 108 by 72 feet & 291-ft tall flag. He knew it would make big news. It did become a big story. But due to unscientific approach, the flag was damaged due to wind in just four days," he said.

The Central Government should take action against the officials responsible for causing insult to the national flag. He said repeated damage to national flag in such a short time was not a small issue and those responsible for the lapses must be punished.

Shabbir Ali said that the conditions in Telangana State were deteriorating day by day. Citing an instance, he said an official came drunk to the review meeting of Ranga Reddy District and said he had consumed liquor as he could not find drinking water. He said while people are forced to walk several kilometres to get a pot of water, they are getting liquor just across the street. He asked the Chief Minister to assess the real situation and take immediate steps to help the farmers and other sections.

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