BENGALURU: A day after announcing a 12.5 pay hike for its staff, the KSRTC is staring at the prospect of bleak finances.
“It will be difficult to pay salaries in time three months from now,” Rajender Kumar Kataria, managing director, KSRTC, told Express. “We need an additional Rs 14 crore a month to be able to pay the new salaries.”
Dr Ekroop Caur, managing director, BMTC, said her organisation was equally worried. “We will have an additional burden of Rs 10 crore a month. So delays in salaries payments are possible,” she told Express.
The two other corporations run by the government, NWKRTC and NEKRTC, are not cash-rich either. Office staff now get their salaries on the first of every month, while mechanical staff get it on the fourth. Drivers and conductors wait till the seventh.
Conceding that a hike in fares isn’t feasible, Kataria said the KSRTC would look at plugging leaks and cutting down on expenses. Karnataka already collects the highest fares in the country.
The revised salary are expected to cost the four corporations an additional Rs 1,775 crore over four years. “KSRTC alone will have a burden of nearly Rs 730 crore during the period. This means it will have to generate an additional Rs 50 lakh every day to compensate for the loss.”
Rising operational costs have meant no break-even over the past two years, he said. “We have lost several crores because of the three-day strike and the bandhs. We hope to generate extra revenue during the festival season starting August,” Kataria said.
Vandals to pay
Kataria promised ‘stringent disciplinary action’ against staff who had damaged buses during the strike. “Nearly 200 buses buses were vandalised. We have registered criminal cases,” he said.