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Two retired Kerala transport staff kill self over pension woes, state to sign pact with co-op banks

In Thiruvananthapuram, retired KSRTC employee Karunakaran Nadar, 69, consumed poison, while in Wayanad, another retired staff Natesh Babu, 68, was found hanging at a lodge in Sulthan Bathery.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: February 10, 2018 2:58 am
Kerala tops NITI Aayog's Health Index, Uttar Pradesh worst performer Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan. Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal

On a day two retired employees of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) committed suicide, allegedly over non-receipt of pension for the past four months, the state government on Thursday decided to form a consortium of co-operative banks, which would pay pension to the retired employees, including the dues, till July this year. The KSRTC would sign an agreement with the banks in this regard. Later, the state government would pay back the co-operative banks from its financial aid to the KSRTC.

The KSRTC has been defaulting on pensions for 38,500 retired staff due to severe financial crisis. Trade unions of pensioners, affiliated to all political parties, have been on a war path for the past several months demanding pension dues.

In Thiruvananthapuram, retired KSRTC employee Karunakaran Nadar, 69, consumed poison, while in Wayanad, another retired staff Natesh Babu, 68, was found hanging at a lodge in Sulthan Bathery. Earlier this week, another retired KSRTC employee V Roy, 59, died following lack to money to fund a cardiac surgery.

Trade unions have claimed the crisis has already claimed 15 lives since the present government assumed office 20 months back. KSRTC, which operates 5,000 buses, has 42,000 employees on its rolls and 38,500 on pension rolls.

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  1. S
    s jacob
    Feb 10, 2018 at 12:09 pm
    Situation at KSRTC raise the question if government can run business successfully. Private bus owners operate with three staff (driver,conductor and a door checker) per bus and make a profit is a proof that KSRTC does not have good management and it is overstaffed. Private bus transport almost all students at concession rate too! I guess KSRTC is infested with too many workers per bus whose output is comparatively negligible. It is time the government it off. KSRTC should be divided into three or four zones and auctioned it off with buses and route. KSRTC can use the money to set up a pension fund for the cur pensioners and also pay a reasonably good severance pay to cur employees. In addition,these employees can try to get employment with new employers who acquire the various routes from KSRTC. Land and other properties of KSRTC should go back to government so that it can be converted to commercial projects which will give a steady income to the government.
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