The Bangalore Metro Rail Employees (BMRE) Union has alleged that there are discrepancies in the Namma Metro due to which it is losing around Rs. 40 crore in a year. The employees have alleged the authorities for mismanagement, fiscal irregularities and showcasing prejudice towards some contract employees.
Vice-president of the union and former employee of Namma Metro, Surya Narayana Murthy said, “Namma Metro need not wait for the ridership to touch five lakh a day to break even. It can report a profit if the management takes initiative to fix a few anomalies.”
Murthy suspected that there is some sort of scam involved in the monthly payment to about 12 private cab agencies that provide commute services to the officials who visit for the site inspection. Murthy raised questions on the BMRCL as he asked, “For years, the BMRCL has been spending Rs. 50 lakh a month towards payment to the cab agencies. How could the monthly bill be so huge when there are only 50-odd site officials?”
To establish his point Murthy showed the documents he had accessed through the Right to Information (RTI) Act regarding monthly payments that are being made to the cab agencies by the authorities. The payments which were done from the month of January till June are Rs. 47.78 lakh, Rs. 48.12 lakh, Rs.51.26 lakh, Rs. 53.45 lakh, Rs. 52.12 lakh and Rs. 51.95 lakh respectively.
This is actually a whopping amount given the fact that there are just 50-odd site officials as per Murthy. Even if all these officials regularly visit for site inspection, the amount won’t reach 50 lakh INR per month. There is indeed something fishy that is going on in BMRCL, probably a scam flourishing in the JD(S) – Congress-led government in Karnataka.
On average bill payments of Rs. 50 lakh being done every month to cab agencies Murthy said, “The expenditure is equal to buying five new cars every month or 60 new cars every year.” The question that BMRCL needs to answer is that when there are 1,232 employees available already then what is the need of having 794 contract employees?
Murthy too raises a point on it as he asks, “Already, there are about 1,230 regular employees who work in the operation & maintenance department as train operators, station managers and so on. What purpose does it serve to hire contract employees when all the other work, including construction and housekeeping, is outsourced?”
Murthy raised fingers on the irregularities that are related to the promotion policy for contract employees he said “There is no outline made for them due to which some employees are getting extravagant hikes due to the recommendation of few influential officers. He further alleged the authorities of fiscal irregularities in allotment of retail spaces, advertisements and parking management at stations.
Murthy who is also a practicing lawyer suggested, “If the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) takes up a probe, the BMRCL will find it difficult to defend itself.” In the month of March, the BMRCL employees had proposed for an indefinite strike due to their differences with the authorities but later on called-off and decided to have a conciliatory meeting with the authorities. Congress should now officially replace the word scam in the dictionary.