Why should I grease palm of higher-ups for a transfer, asks MTC driver

This is the plight of numerous bus drivers and conductors applying for transfers across the state.

Chennai: For the past one and a half years, Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) driver M. Thirumalai has been shuttling between numerous offices in the department, pleading with them to provide the relieving order for his transfer from MTC to the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC).

As the bus driver struggled to travel nearly 100 kilometers a day from his home in Arakkonam to Tondiarpet depot, he applied in March 2016 for a mutual transfer to a depot 10 km away from his house in Arakkonam hamlet and surrendered his documents in March to receive the transfer order.

“The deputy manager, HR, is supposed to give me the relieving order. He was beating around the bush initially, citing reasons like elections and primary allotment to TNSTC and then to MTC. After repeated questioning, he asked me to pay Rs 70,000 which I refused. Then, somebody called Rajesh called and demanded a bribe of Rs 27,000,” he said.

This is the plight of numerous bus drivers and conductors applying for transfers across the state. While bribery plays a major part in delay, some officials ask workers to take back the cases they filed and in some incidents, the authorities of MTC file a false charge memo, stating that the drivers were not working for numerous days, workers of MTC and TNSTC allege.

“After I applied for a transfer from Maduranthagam to Tiruvannamalai, they shifted me to Villupuram. To get a transfer order from Villupuram to Tiruvannamalai, I had to pay a bribe of Rs 25,000. It has been a year and I never got my relieving order,” rued another driver.

Anbazhagam, state joint secretary, Nethaji Transport Workers Union, said that cash passes through several middlemen in the transport department.

“Mutual transfers usually should not take much time and the involvement of ruling party workers adds to the delay,” he said. In a week’s time, Thirumalai will approach the Madras high court with the problem.
When contacted, officials from MTC refused to comment on the issue of bribes

and added that the reason for delay in transfers for most people would have been the election code of conduct as the date of election was announced after giving transfer orders.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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