The KSRTC Pensioners’ Association will soon launch an indefinite hunger strike in front of the Secretariat demanding that the government shoulder the responsibility of providing pension to retired KSRTC employees.
A convention of transport pensioners will be held here on Tuesday during which a committee will be constituted for planning and organising the strike, the Association said in a news release here.
“Over 38,000 old and sick pensioners of the KSRTC are facing inordinate delay in getting their monthly allowance. It has now become a fact that the KSRTC disburses pension only after pensioners take to the streets. However, the pension is given in instalments and that too with a two-month delay,” Association general secretary P A Mohammad Ashraf said.
“Statutory pension has been in place in the KSRTC ever since its inception and it is being disbursed in accordance with the Kerala Service Rules.
“However, the management is now trying to wash its hands of pension by handing over its distribution to institutions such as the Life Insurance Corporation of India,” he said.
The Association said that it was unjustified on the part of the government to consider a public utility service such as the KSRTC as just another profit or loss making entity.
“The daily returns of the KSRTC go to the government coffers. The KSRTC also bears all expenses that the government directs it to bear as part of fulfilling its social commitment and also operates on fares fixed by the government. The clause, that the government should take over the Corporation if it cannot be run efficiently, is also thrown to the winds,” Ashraf said.
The Association has also sought the support of Justice V R Krishna Iyer, poets Sugathakumari and O N V Kurup, former bureaucrat D Babu Paul and representatives of major trade unions, for their agitation.