Thiruvananthapuram: The management of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has finally decided to give permanent employment to temporary personnel after weighing over its pros and cons for a long while. The process of regularisation of such staff, called empanelled employees, will begin from next month. Legal wrangles had led to the termination over 2,000 temporary drivers in 2019.
As many as 900 personnel who had completed 10 years of service and 240 duty shifts would be considered for regularisation. The plan is to carry out the appointments soon after KSRTC Board sends a recommendation to the state government in this regard.
The beneficiaries of the largesse include around 122 persons who could not be taken on board while regularising the empanelled staff in 2013 as they failed to meet the tenure criterion by some months.
New drafts for KURTC
The personnel who are set to be on the permanent rolls of the public transporter would be drafted to the Kerala Urban Road Transport Corporation or KURTC, a KSRTC subsidiary that operates over 500 low-floor buses.
The state government has decided to create 1,300 posts in the KURTC. The appointments would be made after sending the list of eligible people to the respective depots and examining their duty details.
A section of former employees who are being left out of the regularisation process has already approached the KSRTC. They had discharged duties only during Sabarimala season but have also placed the demand for regularisation. However, the government is not in favour of taking any decision to make them permanent.
The KSRTC management believes that if they too are regularised, many others might move court.
K-Swift to be launched on Jan 26
The procedures related to the launch of K-Swift company which has been constituted to operate KSRTC's long-distance bus services and high-tech buses have been completed.
The KSRTC plans to launch the company from January 26.
The K-Swift buses would begin their services from the E-Bus terminal in Anayara, Thiruvananthapuram.
The KSRTC Board which met on Monday also gave approval for setting up K-Swift office at a cost of Rs 1.2 crore. A comprehensive master plan for parking and halting of the vehicles at the terminal has also been approved by the board.
Though a section of trade unions of the employees has expressed their opposition to the K-Swift, the government has decided to go ahead with the new set-up. The management has put forward various possibilities related to K-Swift including merger of the company with KSRTC after 10 years. For now the company will function independent of the KSRTC.
The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Board (KIIFB) has sanctioned Rs 359 crore for the project. The government has also decided to sanction Rs 15 core for the initial functioning of K-Swift.
Under the new service pattern, each long-distance bus will have two drivers and one conductor.
During the first phase 237 high-tech buses would be transferred to the company from the KSRTC. This will be followed by another 460 buses in the second phase.