Electric buses: talks with KSRTC employees fail

The trial run of the new electric buses of KSRTC SWIFT, in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.

The trial run of the new electric buses of KSRTC SWIFT, in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

Despite efforts by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) management to reach out to employees’ unions seeking a possible agreement over the launch of the newly procured electric buses along the city circular routes under the newly formed KSRTC-SWIFT, the unions have decided to boycott the launch function.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)-affiliated employees’ union went a step ahead stating that they would block the city services.

In the meeting held on Sunday to discuss the issue, KSRTC Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Biju Prabhakar assured the ’ unions that their pending salary for June would be credited to the accounts by August 5 and July salary by August 10. However, the unions have decided to go ahead with protest programmes as their main demand that the electric buses be operated under the KSRTC instead of KSRTC SWIFT was not met. The KSRTC employees would soon have no salary or buses to work in, alleged the union leaders.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS)-affiliated employees union has also decided to boycott the launch function of the electric buses, while the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC)-affiliated Transport Democratic Federation (TDF) boycotted the meeting itself, stating that conciliatory talks would not bear fruit without paying the salary to employees.

Trial run held

Meanwhile, a trial run of the 14 electric buses was held on Sunday. The KSRTC will launch its 24-hour city circular bus services linking the airport and the railway station with the KSRTC bus terminal at Thampanoor on Monday. The State-run transport utility has already launched seven city circular shuttle services as part of ensuring last-mile connectivity on busy routes.

Sixty-four buses are conducting city services. Of these, 23 would soon be replaced with electric buses. Also, the low-floor buses procured with financial assistance from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) would be phased out with the arrival of new electric buses.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2022 10:08:44 pm |