The managing director of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) Biju Prabhakar on Saturday levelled a series of allegations against a section of employees of the corporation. He alleged financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 100 crore had taken place during 2012-15.
Speaking to reporters, he said certain employees were allegedly involved in pilfering diesel from the depots and tampering with ticket-vending machines. Prabhakar, a senior IAS officer, further said there was corruption in the local purchase of spare parts for the vehicles of the corporation.
"There are 28,114 employees, some of whom skip duty after registering attendance. There are many engaged in ginger, coffee cultivation, some into private tutoring. However, we do not intend to dismiss anyone instead they will be re-assigned," he said.
He said those opposing the purchase of CNG buses for the corporation were engaged in looting diesel. "An internal audit of the corporation found misappropriation of around Rs 100 crore during the 2012-15 and action will be taken against the then accounts manager Sreekumar,"the KSRTC managing director said.
He said the corporation would take disciplinary action against its vigilance executive director for taking back an employee who was remanded in a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) case. Employees affiliated to INTUC, a Congress party-led trade union, took out a march to the head office of the corporation, protesting against Prabhakar saying he defamed the employees.
CPI(M)-affiliated trade union CITU hit out against the KSRTC's top official by saying it was not right to blame employees for the current situation. "Despite the financial constraints of the corporation, the employees remain loyal to the KSRTC. It was not right on part of the managing director to blame the employees. But, action must be taken against those involved in corruption," CITU leader and Rajya Sabha MP Elamaram Kareem told the reporters.
In the budget presented by Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac on January 15, the state government had allotted Rs 1,800-crore assistance to the crisis-ridden KSRTC which included Rs 1,000 crore earmarked for salary, pension, and loan repayment.