Deepavali celebrations will be muted for more than 1.25 lakh people employed with the four State road transport corporations who are yet to receive their October salary. Unions have appealed to the State government to release at least ₹15,000 to the employees so that they can celebrate Deepavali with their families.
A Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation employee said, “We were expecting credit of at least half of the salary amount, but we received nothing till Friday evening. We are unlikely to get our salary till Tuesday because of general holidays. We have been working hard amid the pandemic, but are not being paid on time.”
All the four corporations are relying on the State government to release funds as they had suffered huge revenue losses on account of the pandemic. Recently, they had asked the government to release ₹634 crore to pay salaries till December.
Managing director of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) Shivyogi C. Kalasad was not available for comment.
The KSRTC Staff and Workers Federation has been demanding that the State government release salaries till the time there is normality in bus services and the corporations start receiving pre-lockdown revenue.
Rise in bookings
The KSRTC received 26,000 online seat bookings on Friday and earned ₹1.5 crore. An official of the KSRTC said there was a huge demand for non-AC buses from Bengaluru to destinations such as Mangaluru, Belagavi, Hubballi, and Shivamogga. “This is the first festive season after the outbreak of the pandemic we are seeing demand. We were getting 5,000 to 6,000 online bookings but the number shot up drastically on Friday. From Majestic and other points, we also received demand for more than 650 additional buses on Friday,” said the official.
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