Bengaluru: The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has earned big by deploying its buses on election duty for two days.
A senior KSRTC officer told Deccan Chronicle that for the 3,695 buses contracted for election duty on May 11 and 12, the Election Commission paid the corporation Rs 7.50 crore.
He said, "We deployed our buses after the EC wrote to us seeking our service to ensure a smooth conduct of elections and to help transport election officials and material from booths to their centres."
He said, "The money earned from these two days will be utilised for commuter-oriented projects and to improve our services. It is a big sum, and we will have a meeting of senior officials to ideate on how to utilise the money. We can assure travellers that the money will be pumped back into the corporation to make travelling in KSRTC buses more comfortable."
Another officer said, "The EC appreciated our efforts and said that there were no problems with the arrangements made as the buses were on time. Our drivers were also appreciated and it helps us in motivating our personnel to work more efficiently. Not a single breakdown was reported and not a single driver assigned for election duty reported absent. We had put drivers on reserve in case of emergencies, but everything went off smoothly."
KSRTC drivers, who were on election duty, said that it was a different experience. One such driver, Kumarswamy, said, "EC officials were cooperative and ensured that our food and other necessities were taken care of. They also helped us in casting our votes through postal ballots. Most importantly, we got to know how to work under pressure, as a single fault would have led to chaos, as we were transporting election-related material and officials. The exposure made us learn a lot."