During a detailed hearing on the issue, the High Court said that all issues could be resolved through talks. It advised the employees to end their strike and agreed for talks.
Meanwhile, the lawyer representing the State Government briefed the court on alternate arrangements made to minimise the inconvenience being caused to the people.
Responding to this, the court asked if alternate measures were sufficient then why the holidays for educational institutions were extended. It said people were facing lot of hardship due to absence of nearly 4,500 buses from the roads. The court said that the responsibility of resolving this issue on war footing lies with the government.
The government lawyer told the court that it was not possible to merge the Road Transport Corporation with the State Government. If this is done, then similar demands would arise from other corporations.
He claimed that despite strike nearly 75% buses were being operated and remaining buses too would be operated in the next few days. At this point, the court intervened and asked how the government would arrange drivers and conductors for 4,500 buses.
At one stage, the court expressed dissatisfaction over the issue and said that the issue was no longer a dispute between RTC management and employees, but now it has become a public issue.
The court also asked the employees as to why ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) could not be invoked against them. It said if the demands of employees were justified then was it fair on their part to paralyse the transport services during festival season.
The unions should also be conscious about the hardship being caused to the public. The court also directed the State Government to appoint a Managing Director for the TSRTC.
The High Court has postponed the next hearing in the case to October 18. (INN)