With thousands of buses forced to stop running due to the lockdown, the salaries and benefits due to North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) employees for the month of April are shrouded in uncertainty. The Corporation has been facing a cash crunch for some time now, and has incurred losses to the tune of Rs 142 crore. Its 22,300 strong workforce has yet to receive the salary for the month of April. Things seem bleak because salary disbursement is highly dependent on revenue generation.
It is reported that the NEKRTC Koppal division alone has 1,947 employees, including officials, drivers, conductors and mechanics. With its 439 buses being taken off the roads, there has been no revenue generation, which is what helps pay the salaries of the employees every month.
About Rs 68 crore is used from the revenue generated by NEKRTC to disburse salaries to its employees. Therefore, it looks like only the state government can come to the rescue of the employees now.
If the state government fails to extend support during this crisis, most of the NEKRTC workers and their families will suffer. While requesting the Government to come up with some timely relief measure, the Koppal division of NEKRTC has also offered the central bus terminal in Koppal to be used for COVID-19 relief by the district administration, if required, to fight the crisis.