‘Unfit employees at transport PSUs causing concern'

Kolkata: West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra on Tuesday expressed concern at the rise of medically unfit workers in the five state transport PSUs and said that this was creating difficulties in operations.

Replying to questions in the Assembly, he said the Calcutta State Transport Corporation had the highest number of 316 medically unfit workers, followed by North Bengal State Transport Corporation with 134, the Calcutta Tram Company with 125 and the South Bengal State Transport Corporation with 66.

Stating that many of these workers were drivers, he said they cannot be allowed to drive buses and the government wants them to be given other responsibilities. An expert committee has been set up for the purpose.

Of the 18,000 employees in the five PSUs, 12,000 were appointed during the Left Front regime without compliance of the Finance Department, Mitra said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was against laying off of employees and to pay their salaries, the government had taken a six-month pilot project which ends on March 31, he said.

It is not possible for the government to bear the burden of subsidies and no decision had yet been taken about the fate of the excess employees.

Stating that the JNNURM project for operating improved buses under the franchise system had not been successful in the state, he said franchisees of more than 300 buses have not paid their share of the costs on the plea that the government had delayed the delivery of the vehicles.

Efforts were on to operate abandoned buses with corporate collaboration, he said.