Merger of State four RTCs
Merger of State four RTCs
Why in news?
Despite a recommendation to the contrary of M.R Srinivasa Murthy committee( Reject the idea of merger) , the state government has decided to merge all four state-run road transport corporations “to plug operational losses and increase efficiency”
- Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) Staff and Workers’ Federation, for years, has been demanding a merger with Bangalore Metro Transport Corporation (BMTC), North Western Karnataka RTC (NWKRTC) and Kalyana Karnataka RTC (KKRTC).
- There are four State-run road transport corporations: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC), and Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KKRTC).
- It was even one of the demands made to the MR Srinivasa Murthy committee which was set up by the government in November 2021 to recommend measures to restructure and revive ailing RTCs. However, the one-man committee reportedly rejected the merger demand.
- In 1990’s , the KSRTC which had jurisdiction over the entire state was bogged down by repeated lockdown by repeated strike calls by the unions . In an attempt to weaken the union activities reorganizations are done on regional lines
What are the reasons for Merger?
- Government stated that if all RTCs are merged, operational costs will decrease by nearly 50% and the staff size will be reduced by 25%.
- RTCs have been under financial stress due to rising prices fuel, besides the pandemic-induced slump. The government is, therefore, focusing on measures to cut operational costs.
- The state has decided to reduce posts of officers while increasing posts of lower-level staff. Each RTC has a big team of officers, including chairman, managing director, general manager, and chief engineer. If we merge all corporation are , can do away with many of these posts and cut costs,
- The corporation financial burden could be reduced if financially distress divisions are merged
What is the timeline for Reorganization of KSRTC?
- 1982: A committee headed by J.C .Lynn recommended separate city bus operations of KSRTC in Bengaluru . Interestingly the committee also advocated for a metro rail system by 2000 for Bengaluru , but metro became a reality in 2011
- 1992: An expert committee headed by P.Kodandaramiah ,IPS officer took the state having a monolithic organization to provide bus services was a disadvantages because of large administrative distance between the central office and the operating units . It recommended eight autonomous companies to replace KSRTC
- 1994: G. Sindhia committee recommend creation of separate subsidiary corporation in Hubbali and Kalaburagi besides separating Bengaluru city operations from KSRTC
- 1997-2000 : Reorganization of KSRTC done based on recommendation of a joint committee headed by Sindhia.
|Why merger is not necessary ? :
The one-man committee led by retired IAS officer M. R. Sreenivasa Murthy, formed to explore means to revive the RTCs, rejected the idea of merger.
· The committee expressed the view that BMTC, NWKRTC, and KKRTC have adequate operational autonomy to manage their affairs and are able to coordinate their work with KSRTC in an atmosphere of friendly cooperation.
· The committee had made recommendations for setting up a “coordination committee” for rationalisation of services on common routes or overlapping routes, procurement of material, personnel management, and other issues.
· The committee also recommended developing a common IT platform for all four RTCs at the earliest. It batted for expert opinion and commuter feedback at the taluk and depot level to increase efficiency.
· Towards cutting down administrative and operations costs, it advocated the introduction of an off-board ticketing system to bring down the expenditures on conductors, which will also help in increasing operations by over 50%.
· For better utilisation of available human resources, the committee recommended restructuring of the existing 12 departments to eight departments.