Tamil Nadu

Temporary drivers, conductors deployed

For a safe journey: Government buses plying with police security in Vellore on Saturday.  

As the strike by transport unions continued on Saturday, district officials took steps to recruit temporary drivers and conductors with valid licences and operated government buses in the district.

According to officials, nearly 56% government buses were operated in Vellore division comprising five depots – two in Konavattam, one each in Krishna Nagar, Gudiyatham and Pernambut.

“Out of the total 345 government buses in Vellore division, 192 were operated by engaging temporary drivers,” said P. Suresh, Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Vellore.

The official said that a total of 50 drivers and 12 conductors were recruited on Saturday.

“We checked if they possessed a valid heavy vehicle driving licence to be recruited as temporary drivers. They were selected after a trial during which they had to drive a bus,” he added.

The three RTOs in Vellore district at Vellore, Ranipet and Vaniyambadi have called for persons possessing valid licences to approach them from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. He added a certificate in recognition of their service would be issued.

Officials said steps were being taken to ensure that there was no hindrance in operating town buses by Monday as schoolchildren should not suffer. Some government buses were operated with police security.

According to S. Parasuraman, district secretary of CITU, Vellore, only 20% of government buses were operated across the district on Saturday.

“These buses were operated by engaging temporary drivers such as those who drive college buses and lorries. The court directed us to return to work. Union leaders have opined that our explanation was not sought. We have decided to stage demonstrations at all district headquarters on January 8,” he said.

The employees are demanding minimum basic salary of ₹19,500, and payment of dues for those who had retired.

“Several persons who had retired are yet to receive monetary benefits. Funds that were meant for them were spent by the transport corporation for purposes such as to compensate for losses incurred on some routes. We want the pending dues to be settled soon,” he said.

District officials have written to the Project Director of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Krishnagiri, not to insist on collecting toll till the bus strike is withdrawn.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 8:07:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/temporary-drivers-conductors-deployed/article22388727.ece

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