By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 17 Jul: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has approved an amount of Rs 34 crore for payment of salaries to the employees of Uttarakhand Transport Corporation (UTC). The Chief Minister claimed that the State Government was sensitive towards the interests of the employees. The state government was eager and ready to solve all their problems. It is worth noting that due to non-operation of buses due to Corona, the Transport Corporation was facing huge losses and this has resulted in non-payment of salaries to its employees for past several months. In the cabinet meeting held on July 14, the issue had been discussed extensively and the Chief Minister was authorised to take an appropriate decision with respect to the salary, etc., of the employees of the Transport Corporation. In this sequence, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has sanctioned an amount of Rs 34 crore for the salaries, etc., of the employees of Uttarakhand Transport Corporation.
It may be further recalled that Uttarakhand High Court too had taken a very harsh view on the non payment of salaries to the staff of UTC and had even given notices to the Chief Secretary, Transport Secretary and others seeking their response. The case is still in the court. Meanwhile, the government had also taken a decision to pay half the salary to the staff of UTC till the situation improved. However, this was not taken positively by the UTC staff and they had summarily opposed such a move, and had threatened strike. This had forced the government to go on back-foot on this move.
It may be further recalled that the UTC is currently facing a liability of Rs 306 crores which includes unpaid dues regarding salaries to regular and temporary employees and gratuity of retired employees besides expenses to run the Corporation and to run and maintain the buses. At present, the situation is that the corporation is not able to pay the rent of its headquarters itself. In fact, UTC has suffered a loss of about Rs 520 crores since its inception. Now the liability on the corporation is increasing continuously. Not only the liability related to the employees but the corporation is also unable to meet its expenses on time. The lockdown due to Corona has only added to the woes of UTC and the losses are piling up without much income to offset the losses.