Lucknow: Contractual bus drivers in the UP State Roadways Corporation (UPSRTC) took to social media to expose the "miserable" conditions in which they are required to work.
In a post on their Facebook page called "UP Parichalark", the drivers said: "If the driver of the ill-fated bus dozed off leading to the accident, he is responsible but so is the UPSRTC that employs drivers at abysmally low remuneration and takes double the work. The UPSRTC makes a profit through this policy." The post added that contractual drivers and conductors get Rs 1.36 per km and are expected to work up to 16 to 17 hours.
The UPSRTC has around 26,000 drivers and conductors, of which 17,500 are employed on contractual basis. The drivers on contractual basis get payment per kilometre. Regular drivers who have put in 22 days of duty and covered 5,000 km get an additional incentive of Rs 3,000. "If the contractual drivers cover even a kilometre less that 5,000, their working days are noted as 21 instead of 22 and the incentive is held back. Contractual staff works up to 15 top 20 hours a day because they need the money to keep their families going. We are made to drive buses that are in a poor condition and if we refuse, our services are terminated," the post said.
Moreover, the contractual staff is made to pay for breakages if any and also for excess fuel consumed. The post said that the employees unions had raised these issues several times but did not go beyond a point because of the fear of dismissal. "There has been no effort to regularize the service of ad hoc employees or get the buses serviced and maintained on a regular basis," it added.