Thiruvananthapuram: KSRTC which was facing a shortage of nearly 1000 drivers, has decided to deploy retired staff on a contract basis to tide over the crisis. The shortage will increase as 659 drivers are scheduled to retire this year, as per an internal communication issued by KSRTC MD Tomin J Thachankary on Monday. More than 200 schedules are being cancelled across the state due to the shortage of drivers daily, the communication pointed out.
It added that of the 6,380 buses in the KSRTC fleet, around five per cent were out of commission because they were on maintenance. There were not enough drivers to operate the remaining buses. This was because, many of the drivers on duty, were unavailable because of deputation, ill health, loss of salary leave and unauthorised absence. The corporation has taken steps to recall the drivers on deputation and other duties. However, this redeployment could not be completed within the time frame, the communication said.
Steps have been taken to ensure that buses which have been lying idle due to the tyre shortage are also made ready for operation. Steps are also being taken to ensure that buses in the dockyard are readied for operation. In these circumstances, unit heads have been given the power to appoint retired drivers who are less than 60 years of age and physically fit on daily wage basis, the communication said. The list of drivers selected on unit basis should be sent to the executive director (administration)within one week.