Kerala

Dual board mooted for KSRTC

Accumulated loss touches ₹8,031.56 crore

Holistic changes in the work culture, operations and management of the ailing Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) with a professional board consisting of transport, financial and management experts have been mooted by the Sushil Khanna committee to make the State transport undertaking overcome the accumulated loss of ₹8,031.56 crore.

Positive changes in the operational, financial and human resource policies; ways to improve the working of depots and major workshops; rationalising the depots and closing unviable ones; and aggregating buses by each manufacturer in some depots have been spelled out by the committee in its final report submitted to the government recently.

The 94-page report ‘KSRTC: Crisis and turnaround strategy’ pointed out that the most serious and glaring omission is the continuation of the archaic governance structure. At present, the KSRTC does not have a professional board that can help in setting up strategic direction or supervise its implementation. Since February 2017, the KSRTC had four Managing Directors (MDs) and three Ministers.

The committee pointed out that the ‘half-hearted and uncoordinated measures’ by successive MDs to the recommendations made by it in the draft report had shown significant results in asset utilisation and improved daily collections from the fleet.

However, all these initiatives are not enough to turnaround KSRTC’s fortunes. ‘‘A professional board with experts is absolutely essential and should be the first task if the government is serious about turning around the KSRTC,’’ Mr. Khanna said.

A dual board structure has been mooted by retaining the present board of directors consisting of trade unions, elected representatives and consumers, and renaming it as KSRTC Advisory Board. Mr. Khanna said the advisory board should meet once in four months and seek review of the progress made in stakeholder expectations.

On the other hand, the Board of Directors with experts will have the power to suggest and supervise KSRTC’s strategic direction and implementation as well as periodically evaluate its operational and financial performance.

The board will keep track of the improvement in operations, fleet utilisation and earnings, and monitor the cash flows and liabilities. Eight to 10 senior managers at the level of GM/DGM with 10 years experience and with necessary domain knowledge and skills in the areas of finance, MIS, fleet management and route planning, automobile workshop management, auto engineering and human resource management should be inducted immediately.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 12:05:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/dual-board-mooted-for-ksrtc/article26748160.ece

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