CHENNAI: Christmas came early for the employees of the State-owned transport corporation as on Wednesday Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa announced a number of welfare measures for them. She also announced steps to improve administration of these corporations, including filling up of 16,661 vacancies for drivers, conductors and technical workers, retirement benefits to 7,004 employees to the tune of `144.28 crore, annual master health check-up for the employees above 45 years of age and opening up of new depots in 32 places across the State.
Making a suo motu statement in the State Assembly, the CM said that since the number of service routes and buses had been increased and taking into account the number of employees who would retire by March 31 next year, the government would take steps to appoint 6,910 drivers, 7,402 conductors and 2,349 technical staff. Of these posts, 4,511 badli drivers, 4,558 badli conductors and 88 badli technical staff would be regularised. Badli staff are workers who replace permanent employees in their absence)
She said 398 vacancies of technical staff and 171 other jobs would be filled in the Central Depot, which had been undertaking maintenance works on the State-owned buses.
With a view to keep the drivers in good health, Jayalalithaa said drivers over the age of 45 will undergo master health check-ups once a year at the Perundurai Medical College Hospital run by the Road Transport Institute. She also said 338 employees of transport corporations, who were working under compassionate grounds, will be made permanent.
The CM said the wards of transport employees, who die in harness, will be given training and appointed to suitable vacancies. In the first phase, 400 vacancies of technical staff would be filled with the wards of transport employees who died in harness, on the basis of seniority. They would be given three years of training.
Jayalalithaa said 2,316 transport employees who retired from service between September 2010 and March 2011 during the previous DMK regime but hadn’t yet received their retirement benefits. They will be given their benefits totalling `47.71 crore this month.
Similarly, 4,688 employees, who retired between last April and this April, will be paid retirement benefits to the tune of `96.57 crore during this financial year.
The CM said long distance express buses covering more than 300 kms will be operated by State Express Transport Corporation. Since the number of service routes will be increased from 905 to 1,761, new depots will be opened at Srirangam, Dindigul, Theni, Karaikudi, Karur, Erode and Hosur. Besides, an office of General Manager will be opened at Srirangam. She also said 25 new depots will be set up across the State.