Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 23 May 2024 11.13 AM IST

49 drivers and 31 conductors; 'Drunk' depot of Kerala


KSRTC, the public sector organization is perennially criticised and chastised from all quarters. Some of these are accumulating losses, arrears of salaries, curtailment of services, uncollected liabilities despite pledging all immovable assets, and the impasse of reaching out to the government for financial assistance. Adding more to the worries, 49 drivers and 31 conductors who came to duty drunk in the last few days were caught by the vigilance of the corporation!

A total of 100 employees were caught under the influence of intoxicants in a lightning inspection conducted over two weeks on the instructions of Transport Minister KB Ganesh Kumar. 74 permanent employees were suspended. 26 temporary workers were dismissed from their jobs.

Ganesh Kumar, who took the throne of minister with pompous promises of giving back the corporation its halcyon days, had already failed to walk his talks. Much of his reforms have backfired while his latest move to catch inebriated officials on duty may pay the dividends.

Passengers who mostly depend on long travels were flummoxed to hear the news. How can any sane human not feel shocked hearing that most of the KSRTC drivers steering vehicles on the hassled roads in the city are drunk on duty? What about the lives of humans including young children? 39 of the drivers suspended for drunk driving are regular employees of the corporation.

One among the ‘drunks’ was the station master, who was technically responsible for ensuring the efficiency and operational discipline of the depot. Vehicle supervisors, regular mechanics, and security sergeants were also caught drunk during the special surprise investigation!

Earlier too, many drivers and conductors were caught for drunk duty. But no punitive action followed despite the initial facade of inspection. Union leaders emerged as saviours for all the drunk drivers and employees subjected to disciplinary action came out of the suspension with the auspices of the union leaders.

However, this time, no union leaders came to the rescue, maybe minding the upcoming elections. Union leaders have turned into a terrible jinx for the corporation, impeding the department's success in all possible ways. No matter the diligent one who takes the helm of the corporation, the department would stumble to move forward, only for these jinxes. Amidst this doomed state, the surprise inspection gives something to cheer about. Let more of this happen.

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