Call to revive “break-in-driving” system

Staff Reporter

KANCHEEPURAM: The Indian National Transport Workers Federation, Tamil Nadu Branch, has urged the State government to revive the “break-in-driving” system in long-distance services operated by the State Transport Corporations.

Talking to reporters here on Tuesday, the federation president and All India INTUC General Council member, M. K. Vishnuprasad, said that nowadays drivers were made to operate buses for more than stipulated km-per-duty, resulting in enormous stress. While it was officially fixed at 500 km-per-duty for a driver operating on mofussil routes, they were directed to operate services having more than 300 km each for up-and-down trips to complete their duty and take rest the next day. The problem assumed voluminous proportion after all State Transport Corporations were allowed to operate their own services to Chennai from their respective headquarters / other important towns in their domain.

Some of the transport corporations have adopted the practice of asking the crew to operate two different long-distance services followed by short-distance service to complete their duty at the place where they commenced their journey.

In case of State Express Transport Corporation, a single driver was being posted to operate up-and-down trips on routes such as between Chennai and Rameswaram / Kanyakumari. Thus, reviving of “break-in-driving” system would help the drivers avoid getting fatigued, he said. Further, the federation was upset that consolidated payment was being made for overtime duty. The methodology adopted to calculate consolidated payment also differed from one corporation to another. As per norms, one-and-half times of the daily wage had to be provided as overtime to the bus crew and technical staff, Mr. Vishnuprasad said.

The federation also urged the State government to consider the long-pending demand for a salary structure on a par with government servants for bus crew, maintenance staff and other branch staff of the corporations.