The bus services of Kerala Road Transport Corporation (RTC) are likely to be affected on Monday after the dismissal of 2,000 plus temporary staff on Saturday. The dismissal order was issued to 2,107 temporary drivers on Saturday.
With Sunday being a holiday, the dismissal did not affect the passengers or the services. Moreover, the staff were able to rearrange bus services based on demand.
However, the shortage of staff is most likely to affect the services on Monday. According to reports, over 600 services are likely to be cancelled following the shortage of staff.
Taking stock of the situation, Kerala RTC has asked its drivers who were on leave to report on duty. However, appointments of new permanent drivers are to be made soon.
The temporary staff of Kerala RTC was dismissed based on the High Court order, which stated that temporary drivers continuing to work even after 180 days of service should be dismissed before April 30. The ruling was made based on the petition of the Association of KSRTC Reserve Driver and Conductor Rank Holders. According to the petition, temporary drivers, who crossed 180 days of work, had to be replaced with rank holders from the Public Service Commission.
Though the state service approached the Supreme Court against the order, the top court, too, endorsed the division bench ruling and said that the empanelled staff had to be dismissed before June 30, which led to the governmentâ€™s action.
On Saturday, 1,479 temporary drivers were dismissed from Thiruvananthapuram sector, 257 from the central sector and 341 from the northern sector.
Transport Minister AK Saseendran and MP Dinesh, Chairman and Managing Director, will take measures to overcome the shortage of staff.
Meanwhile, to tide over the shortage, Kerala RTC will recruit retired drivers. The zonal executive directors have directed officers from each sector to hire those drivers below 60 years of age who have retired.