For the first time in over 25 years, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) can now pay its employees from its own revenues. The KSRTC usually required more than Rs 90 Crores to pay its own employees and depended on financial assistance from the public exchequer.
The turnaround in the fortunes of the company are due to a number of reasons including increased fuel efficiency of its fleet, cutting down bus-staff ratio, increased revenues during the Sabarimala season, scrapping of double-duty system, dismissal of 2,002 persons for various reasons, temporary removal of 3800 empaneled staff and the use of conductor less e-buses.
The Corporation gained 45.2 Crores from Nilackal-Pampa chain services in Sabarimala alone this year instead of the 15.2 Crores, it had gained last year. The reason behind this increase is attributed to the banning of private buses in the route and the increased ticket fair. The increase in fuel efficiency from 4.07 to 4.19 have also helped KSRTC save ?16.82 crore. The advertisement revenue from the 10 e-buses was ?89.11 lakh. The revenue from the courier service through the fleet has gone up from ?1.63 crore to ?7.03 crore.
Conductor less bus services in e-buses and driver-cum-conductor system that restricts drivers to eight hours in buses have also helped with the increase in revenue. These new restrictions have also helped KSRTC to reduce traffic accidents.
Earlier, 3800 employees were removed in December 2018 and this decision was taken after the High Court ordered their removal to facilitate the appointment of those who had secured ranks in the Public Service Commission exams conducted for the post of reserve conductors in May 2013. After the exams, 9,300 candidates were served an advice memo. Out of this, 3,808 were sent appointment letters, the remaining 5,492 and 4,051 candidates who were part of the second phase, were sent advice memos.
The KSRTC chairman and the managing director Tomin J. Thachankary had claimed in December that they would move the Supreme Court against the High Court order that forced the removal of its temporary staff and had said that it was not the government’s policy to remove empaneled staff. He had also said that the removal of the temporary staff and their replacement with permanent appointment would weaken KSRTC’s financial position and would be an extra burden on the corporation. Mr Thachenkary has reiterated speaking to The Hindu that the reinstatement of empaneled employees is high on the agenda of the KSRTC as of now.