Joyless puja for ASTC retirees
Pending dues stand at Rs 19.86 crore
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Oct 20: The Durga puja festivities have begun, but for some, there is little to feel joyful about. Thanks to mismagement by the Assam State Transport Corporation authorities and callous indifference of the State government, more than 400 retired ASTC employees are yet to get their dues.
The ASTC, which came into being through Notification No. TMV.138/70/5 dated 31.3.1970 under the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950, has been facing recurring losses for last several years. There are allegations that mismagement and negligence of the concerned authorities is to blame for the corporation's parlous condition.
As on August 2015, the pending dues to retired employees stands at around Rs 19.86 crore with leave salary of Rs 2.83 crore, gratuity of Rs 9.45 crore and Contributory Provident Fund of Rs 7.58 crore. The present strength of permanent employees of the corporation stands at 1,900.
It needs to be mentioned here that the State government had released a planned fund of Rs 327 crore to ASTC from 2007, but there are allegations that the corporation failed to invest the fund or use it in a proper manner.
Meanwhile, talking to The Sentinel, general secretary of State Transport Employees Union, Khurshid Alam said, "It is the festive season and our retired employees are yet to get their dues. There are some employees who stand to receive up to Rs 15 lakhs from the corporation. Had the magement released at least a part of their dues, at least these beleaguered families would have got some relief."
He further said that the State government should also pay heed to their plight since it is a corporation under the government.
Raising the demand for a CBI probe into the anomalies and corruption in ASTC, Alam said, "There are a lot of scams going on in the ASTC. We want a CBI probe into this matter."