During the bustling festive season, the employees of the Himachal Pradesh Transport Corporation (HRTC) are still waiting for their salaries for the month of September. This delay is affecting more than 11,000 employees and 8,000 pensioners.
The largest transport provider in the state of Himachal Pradesh, HRTC has incurred losses exceeding Rs 1,500 crore. The unpaid September salaries include those of 8,000 drivers, conductors and other technical staff.
The Corporation operates a fleet of 3,142 buses, including 75 electric buses, 38 taxis, 50 electric taxis, and 12 tempo travellers, serving nearly 7,000 routes. The government owes Rs 63 crore in salaries and pensions to its employees.
The delay is attributed to the unavailability of a government grant that is typically used to cover these expenses. Rohan Chand Thakur, managing director, HRTC, has assured that the staff should receive their salaries within a day or two.
In addition to the delayed salaries, drivers and operators are also owed overtime pay for 36 months, adding to their financial strain. Approximately 2,700 workers in various offices and workshops are affected by this salary delay.
It’s worth noting that there is a 50 per cent discount on bus fares for women in ordinary buses, and HRTC provides free transportation to government school students and individuals suffering from serious illnesses, as well as gallantry award winners.