As a way to entice drivers to ferry more passengers, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has decided to adopt a new strategy — drivers and conductors who accomplish targets will be given incentives.
Under the scheme, the beneficiaries would get 24 per cent incentive or 100 rupees whichever is lesser, daily for achieving the specified target. MSRTC officials claim that this is aimed at overcoming losses and improving bus services wherein staff would be motivated to ensure there is good turnout of buses, and fewer breakdowns.
The programme began from February 23 and will continue till April 15. The scheme will be on hold during the peak season of April and May, and will resume from June 15.
“This scheme is for all depots in state. After a study of turnover and profit of previous years, we have set a target for each route. The target is different for each bus based on destination, route and timing. If driver and conductor succeed in achieving the target, they will get 24 per cent incentive or 100 rupees whichever is lesser,” said senior official of MSRTC.
Vijay Divate, depot manager, Swargate, Pune Division, said, “We are getting a good response from drivers and conductors. Apart from the official bus stops, MSRTC buses are now halting at request stops to achieve targets. It is beneficial for commuters as well as drivers and conductors. From Pune division, we are getting a very good response. Everyday 10 to 12 trips cross their targets.”
But state ST Union claims that the scheme is useless, as it is limited to off-season. Demanding that the scheme should be implemented throughout the year, Dilip Parab, secretary, Pune Division ST Union, said, “Currently, the response is very low due to ongoing HSC and SSC exams.
It is not possible to achieve targets. Unlike Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation where the incentives are offered through the year, the scheme should be applicable in the peak season also. The target changes according to the time of departure.
For example on the Pune-Borivli route, the target differs for morning and evening trip. It should be same for each route. In reality, the management don’t want to give the incentive and that is why they have set a target and changed it according to the time, making the targets impractical.”