HC warns KSRTC unions against proceeding with stir

Kochi: The Kerala High Court has warned the KSRTC unions that the current attempts by the court to streamline the salary disbursal for employees will be hit seriously if they continue with various modes of agitation that are adversely affecting the functioning of the Corporation.

Judge Devan Ramachandran, while hearing the salary disbursal case, asked each KSRTC employee to keep this fact in mind. 

The court gave such a warning after the KSRTC management brought to the attention of the former about various agitations like picketing resorted to by the unions in front of various offices, including that of KSRTC headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram, resulting in disruption of work. 

The KSRTC filed a supplemental petition to be heard along with the main petition filed by the employees, including R Baaji, seeking disbursal of salary on time. 

The petitioners, however, submitted before the court that they were not taking part in the strike. 

The court said that efforts were now on to make the Corporation profit-making and thereby disburse salary within the 5th day of every month and hence, any activities hampering this move could not be entertained. 

The court made the State Chief Secretary and the Additional Chief Secretary as parties to the case. 

In the supplemental petition filed by the KSRTC, the court also issued notice to the unions through a special messenger. 

The court had earlier ruled that the KSRTC should ensure that the salary of drivers, conductors, mechanics, ministerial and stores staff be given before the 5th day of every month. 

The KSRTC, in its petition, alleged that the unions were resorting to agitations like picketing to take credit for the above order issued by the High Court. 

KSRTC seeks Rs 250 cr from govt 

Transport Minister Antony Raju submitted a proposal to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, seeking Rs 250 crore as one-time assistance for finding a permanent solution to the financial woes of the KSRTC. 

Another proposal submitted to the CM is that the single-duty system as suggested by the Sushil Khanna Committee report should be implemented in the KSRTC. Currently, there is a shortage of staff under the double-duty system. 

Daily, the KSRTC is not able to operate almost 500 buses due to a shortage of drivers and conductors. If it is a single-duty system, the Corporation can ensure the presence of employees for work six days a week. 

It is learnt that since the unions are opposing the move, the KSRTC management is desperately looking forward to getting the support of the Chief Minister in implementing the single-duty system. 

Another demand by the KSRTC is to avoid tax for diesel bought by the corporation.         

The Chief Minister may hold discussions on all these proposals on Thursday. The Transport Minister will hold talks with the striking trade unions on Wednesday. 

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