“In May 2014, the corporation earned Rs 6 crore (Rs 4.5 crore from its own fleet of buses and trucks and Rs 1.5 crore as commission) from ECI for providing transport services during parliamentary poll
While the loss making State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) should be looking for every opportunity to garner revenues, it is doing opposite!
In November-December last, the management allegedly declined transport services to Election Commission of India for assembly elections, which could have earned it Rs 6 crore revenue. The management, according to sources, did this to favor some blue-eyed private transporters.
“In May 2014, the corporation earned Rs 6 crore (Rs 4.5 crore from its own fleet of buses and trucks and Rs 1.5 crore as commission) from ECI for providing transport services during parliamentary polls,” a senior official of the corporation told Greater Kashmir.
“But in November-December, the management without assigning any plausible reason declined to provide transport services to the ECI for assembly elections thereby preventing the corporation from earning Rs 6 crore revenue,” he said.
“The services were declined by the management obviously for some consideration from the private transporters,” the official said, adding that the management was in favor of hiring services of two private transporters “with whom they had some kind of understanding.”
“The two transporters, in whose favour the management was interested, are registered with SRTC only for load carrier services to lift and ferry ration distributed by CAPD under PDS,” he said.
He said technically these transporters could not provide bus services during election.
“When the employees raised objection to these two transporters, it did not go well with the management. The MD SRTC consequently conveyed his NOC to all the Deputy Commissioners stating that due to floods the corporation was not in a position to provide its fleet of buses and trucks for assembly polls.”
“It was done only to the settle scores with those who had objected to the proposal of the management, and earn some quick bucks from the private transporters who were benefitted by this decision,” he said.
“The murky deal between the top management and few transporters cost SRTC Rs 6 crore,” the official said. He said that corporation since its inception has been providing vehicles to government during elections. “We provided vehicles even during the times when there was total political disturbance in Kashmir and often our vehicles would be damaged during the election duty.”
He said: “But right now we could earned this much of amount with any risk.”
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Managing Director, J S Tandon said: “During assembly elections except DC Reasi nobody asked for our transport services. That is why we didn’t provide our fleet for Assembly election.”
“Earlier, the ECI used to hire our services, but this time they had decentralized the authority of availing transport services to DCs,” he said while acknowledging that the SRTC had suffered revenue losses “due to non-availing of corporation services by the DCs during assembly election.”
However, some senior officials of the corporation counter MD’s argument stating that many DCs requisitioned the corporation for transport services.
“Even, DC Kulgam number of times requested for transport facilities, but as the MD had made up his mind he refused to entertain any such requests,” they said.
Earlier, Greater Kashmir had reported as to how the SRTC was facing recurring loss of Rs 3 crore every year following a former minister had influenced it to withdraw its service to a missionary school after his (the minister’s) kin failed to qualify the admission test.