KSRTC In Deep Red, State Must Act Proactively: Kerala High Court
The Kerala High Court has said that the Kerala government should act quickly to end the imbroglio in the Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC).
The Bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran expressed hope that the state will come forward and give inputs to the Court as to the manner in which the present problem of the corporation can be resolved. The KSRTC is facing a big money crunch and has been unable to pay its employees on time.
The Court was informed by KSRTC that it has a debt of nearly 3500 crores and that servicing of interest of the debt eats into its income substantially. The Court was informed that the income of a month is being used to pay off the salary of the previous month.
"..the KSRTC, like its colour, is in the red! not merely red, but deep red!", the Court observed in its order.
The Court said that the proposed meeting under the aegis of the Chief Minister to resolve the issues relating to KSRTC is a welcome step. "..the problem faced by the KSRTC is not merely "skin-deep" but is "skeleton-deep", the Court observed.
The Court said that a strong intervention will have to be made by the government to set things right in KSRTC, while noting that if liabilities and overdrafts are kept aside, KSRTC is in a no-profit no-loss situation.
Earlier, the Court had directed that the supervisory officers and staff will be paid only after the drivers, conductors, mechanics and store staff are paid.
The Court also said that the income generated should first be used to pay salary and only thereafter for other purposes, including paying interest on debts. "Otherwise, certainly, those who toil for long hours, operating the various schedules, would feel embittered and cheated", the Court added.
"I don't think that the Government can now take things lying ground and allow the imbroglio to be resolved on its own; but must act proactively", the Court said while adjourning the matter to July, 1 and expressing hope that the problems will be addressed, if not resolved.