In a strong action against its drivers who were remaining absent frequently and thus affecting its bus service, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has dismissed 916 conductors and drivers in last one year. The administration on Saturday said it was planning to reinstate some of them.
The absenteeism by drivers and conductors severely affect bus operations, as even one of them not being available means the cancelling of a particular trip or service, thus causing inconvenience to passengers. The BEST operates fleet of 3800 daily buses with 12,000 conductor and 10,000 drivers. With its dwindling number of commuters and mounting losses, the BEST can’t afford to lose more commuters and has therefore taken strong action, said official sources.
After the harsh action, BEST is planning to reinstate 200-250 sacked drivers and conductors depending on the vacancies and on the condition that drivers and conductors will lose their seniority, which means that they will have restart their career from the beginning. Only drivers who are younger than the age of 45, and with a maximum of four charge-sheets will be considered for the reinstatement. The driver or conductor is served with a charge-sheet for long absenteeism, which is a minimum of 15 days. However, in some cases, the staff has been served with five or six charge sheets during the last decade.
“We have taken stern action to inculcate discipline among drivers and conductors, and to give out the message that any indiscipline will not be tolerated. The dismissed staffers were allowed to re-apply till the end of this month, following which their case will be scrutinised by the concerned officer,” said Jagdish Patil, BEST general manager.