KOCHI: Facts suggest that heavy pension liability and escalating fuel prices over the years aren’t the only factors which drilled holes on the KSRTC coffers. According to a recent analysis by the KSRTC management, over a period of the last 10 years, the KSRTC has incurred heavy revenue leakage owing to the decline in ticket checking in buses. In the revival package mooted by the Corporation and accepted by the Unions in February, the management has given specific mention to this factor.

According to the analysis, owing to entrusting several other less important responsibilities to ticket checking inspectors, such as office jobs and inquiries of petitions and cases, many of these officials have not been able to effectively spent time in the field.

“At the moment there are only 280 Vigilance Squad inspectors who are solely responsible for ticket checking across the state to make up for the lack of Controlling Inspectors. In the past, the Controlling Inspectors were entrusted with the power to inspect tickets in buses. However, over the years, owing to the excessive shortage in several posts, the KSRTC has been forced to assign other responsibilities to them. They have not been able to concentrate on this job,” said A John, KSRTC Vigilance Officer.

The KSRTC has not been able to fill the existing vacancies of Controlling Inspectors owing to a pending case between the empanelled and PSC-appointed employees, which has frozen promotions in the KSRTC.

“Ticket checking on buses is essential, especially for long distance journeys. Sometimes, owing to the heavy rush conductors are not able to issue tickets to all the passengers. In long distance buses, sometimes passengers themselves do not cooperate in this matter. Since ticket checking has not been effective over the years we are unable to know how much of revenue loss has been incurred by the Corporation in this regard,” officials said.

Vigilance Officer A John, however, denied that ticket checking in the inter-state and intra-state buses have come down completely. “we are trying our best to spread our officers across the state. Strict action is taken against the conductor if the checking officer finds that he has failed to issue tickets. Also, heavy fine is levied on the passengers who travel without ticket,” he said.

The KSRTC officials said that ticket checking will be strengthened once the new revival package is implemented and once the new MD takes charge.

Source: New Indian Express