Bengaluru: Karnataka on Monday finally decided to release the salaries of nearly 1.3 lakh employees working in four transport corporations run by the state, an official said.
The move came a day after children of some of the employees through video messages on social media appealed to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to pay the salaries so that they could celebrate festivals like others.
With the videos going viral, Yediyurappa on Monday directed the officials to release Rs 635.50 crore “immediately”.
Non-payment of salaries to nearly 1.3 lakh employees of four road transport corporations — Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporations (BMTC), North-West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and North-East Karnataka Transport Corporations (NEKRTC) — during Diwali had caused much embarrassment to the government.
The employees had expressed disappointment over not getting their October salary and demanded advance payment of at least Rs 15,000.
The employees’ delight came on the day of Dyutapratipada, the fourth day of Diwali.
A media statement released by the office of the Deputy Chief Minister, Lakshman Savadi, who is also the Transport Minister, said that he met the CM and appealed to him to release the required funds.
“The CM has instructed the officials to release the required funds to pay the salaries from October to December. The state government is providing 75 per cent of the amount and the corporations will bear the remaining 25 per cent of the cost,” he said.
The release also claimed that due to poor ridership after the outbreak of the COvid-19 pandemic, revenue generation of the corporations has not crossed 30 per cent.
In mid-October, citing poor revenue generation, all the road transport corporations had sought the state government to release Rs 634.50 crore to pay the salaries of the employees till December.
According to the state government, the losses for the state-run transport corporations had risen beyond Rs 800 crore by the end of April itself.
The main corporation, KSRTC, caters to the state’s 17 southern districts, while NWKRTC serves the six north-western districts and NEKRTC caters to seven north-eastern districts in Karnataka, while the BMTC operates in Bengaluru and its outskirts.