Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pilferage eating into BMTC’s revenue, reputation

Pilferage eating into BMTC’s revenue, reputation



Raghavendra RFirst Published : 16 Nov 2009 06:39:08 AM ISTLast Updated : 16 Nov 2009 07:42:51 AM IST
BANGALORE: If the total number of cases booked against the conductors and driverscum- conductors for pilferage and the pilferage amount between April and October 2009 by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is any indication, it seems the corruption in ticketing system in the BMTC has taken its toll.
Between April and October 2009, a total of 36,661 cases were booked against the conductors and driverscum- conductors and the pilferage money amounts to Rs 15,29,481. On an average, about 175 cases are booked every day by the BMTC’s Line Checking Section (LCS).
Sources in the BMTC told Express that out of 73,000 trips operated daily by BMTC, a mere 1.32 per cent of trips are checked by the LCS and the rest goes unchecked.
“Last year itself, 25 conductors and drivers-cum-conductors were dismissed from service for involving in pilferage,” the sources said.
The LCS has 71 personnel and comprises traffic inspectors and assistant traffic inspectors, which works in 25 batches in five shifts per day. However, the sanctioned strength for the LCS is 160 personnel, which means the section is short of 89 personnel.
The sources said that the objective of line checking is to create awareness among the travelling public to buy ticket and travel, preventive checking to contain the pilferage in the traffic revenue by the conductors and finally to weed out highly pilfer-prone conductors.
“The conductors are given enough opportunity to correct themselves,” the sources said It was informed that the inquiring authority will hold the proceedings and also go through the conductor’s past history of the offences committed.
“The conductor will be kept under suspension for six months until the proceedings get completed. After the inquiry is over and if charges are proved, a show-cause notice is issued seeking his explanation. Before dismissing the conductor from service, all the parameters are looked into by the inquiring authority,” the sources said The conductor is dismissed from service he is an habitual offender or is repeatedly involved in the red mark cases and if the charges are serious.
They also said that a report is sought from the concerned depot managers about the conductor’s ticket revenue target per day. “If the ticket revenue is less regularly than the set target by a particular conductor, that too on a busy route with more passengers or heavy rush, that line is closely monitored and checked,” the sources said.
Every conductor and driver-cumconductor has to declare personal cash to the depot manager while coming to duty. “They are allowed to carry up to Rs 50. If they want to carry more than that, it has to be certified in the depot by the traffic inspector that will entitle them to carry up to Rs 500,” they said.
Cases will be slapped on them if the cash they have and the fare collected from passengers (as per tickets sold) do not tally at the time of line checking.
Pilferage are of different types: like collecting ticket fare and not issuing the ticket to the passenger, re-issue of tickets and not returning the change to the passengers. Also, following an increase in night operations by the BMTC recently, early morning and late night services are also checked daily, the sources said.
Those dismissed are sometimes reinstated, if they move labour court and the cases are decided in their favour.
Some conductors take corrective measures in the discharge of their duties, after re-instatement.

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