Thiruvananthapuram: The KSRTC trade unions have scuttled a reform initiated by former CMD Tomin J. Thachankary in the corporation.
Following their objections, the management took off the driver-cum-conductor from the Palakkad-bound Scania bus that left Thiruvanantha-puram central depot at 5.30 a.m. on Saturday.
Jino, the driver-cum-conductor of the bus, was asked to step down by the assistant transport officer who posted a conductor for the job. The decision comes days after Mr Thachankary, who introduced the system in long-distance buses, was ousted from his post at the instance of the unions though he enjoyed the backing of Transport Mi-nister A. K. Saseendran.
Mr M.G. Rahul, general-secretary of AITUC-affiliated Kerala State Transport Employees' Union, claimed that the unions were not behind the latest action. As per the agreement between transport secretary K.R. Jyothilal and the unions, the driver-cum-conductor would be deployed only in buses with over eight hours’ running time. The system was implemented in four buses with less than eight hour-running time, including Thiruvan-anthapuram –Palakkad Scania bus. That was why the management stopped the move, said Mr Rahul.
Currently, driver-cum-conductors are mainly deployed in all night services with over six hours of steering duty and the daytime services with running time of over eight hours to cut cost and reduce road accidents.
It will also help in avoiding a single driver working for over eight hours at a stretch in the long-haul buses. The new system will help the corporation save ‘seven manpower’ and a seat in long-haul services.
The corporation has been encouraging its drivers to take conductor licences so as to implement the drive-cum-conductor (DC) system in its long-haul services. However, the unions have opposed the cost-cutting measure from the very start....