BENGALURU: Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), which receives little support from the state government, has once again disappointed its employees, as they have not yet disbursed salaries for this month. With October being a festival month with several people celebrating Dussehra and Diwali, the lack of salary has angered drivers and conductors.
“We have not been able to celebrate Dussehra and Ayudha Pooja with our families this time though it is our state festival. Given the high cost of living in a city like Bengaluru and how little we earn, the festival season is one thing we look forward to. In the last five years we have not received the festival bonus that used to be given to employees during Dussehra,” said Yogeesh, an employee in BMTC.
He pointed out saying that officers and heads of departments have been paid but the ground-level staff of nearly 36,000 employees have not.“If they do not give it to us soon, we will walk to Vidhana Soudha and give a letter of request to Transport Minister Laxman Savadi and Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. In fact, in the last three months we have been getting salaries on the 7th or 8th of the month,” he added.
Thammanna, a driver said, “Since 2015, I have not seen the festival bonus even once. They could have disbursed the amount on Saturday (October 6) prior to the bank holidays, as they know it’s the festive season. But we have to manage our finances somehow as we must celebrate Ayudha Pooja.”
BMTC MD C Shikha said, “The salaries are scheduled to be given each month on the 4th for mechanics, 6th for drivers and 7th for conductors. This time, owing to the three-day bank holiday from 6th, it got delayed. Drivers will get it on 9th and conductors on 10th. Employees who have applied for the festival advance of Rs 5,000 have got it and we have given out Rs 35 lakh in that respect.” However, she did not comment on bonuses.
Meanwhile, employees also continue to voice their long-standing demand that the state government disburse their salaries directly, like any other state government employee. This would ease the burden on the corporation, which is incurring higher expenses than revenue.