MSRTC to withhold reimbursement if employees' official phones found switched off

Feb 08, 2018, 06:00 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar

With hope of instilling discipline in work force, the state transport department issues new diktat to employees

Illustration/Ravi JadhavRepresentational Picture

Starting this month, employees of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), one of the biggest bus transport corporations in the country with a fleet of 17,000 buses, might just dread days when they don’t have their mobile phone chargers on them, all thanks to a new diktat issued by the company. The order to key MSRTC staff states that if official mobile phones are found to be switched off at any given point in time, employees will have to forfeit their entire month’s mobile reimbursement.

The order, which was issued on February 3 -- a copy of which is with mid-day -- has been addressed to divisional bus controllers across Maharashtra and states that all bus controllers, divisional transport officers, depot managers and other important officials should keep their phones switched on 24/7 as it is a key source of information during emergencies and major accidents. According to a source, cases of official mobile phones being switched off was found to be rampant in the department, forcing authorities to take this drastic step.

Ranjeet Singh Deol, vice-chairman and managing director, MSRTC

The order, signed by the general manager (transport), also draws attention to this problem. "The instructions to keep mobile phone switched on 24/7 has been conveyed earlier too, but it has been found that the instructions are not taken seriously and followed diligently. Hence, it has been decided that if mobile phones are found to be switched off, the officer will lose the entire month’s reimbursement as punishment," the order reads.

When contacted, Ranjeet Singh Deol, vice-chairman and managing director of MSRTC, said that the decision was taken in order to "instill a sense of discipline" among employees. "We have been issuing instructions, but many a times they are not taken seriously. It is important that key officials are available during emergencies, crisis, planning and other important official communication. A serious kind of order, like this one, will help convey the message strictly," said Deol.

MSRTC has been the backbone of rural Maharashtra with the bus connecting almost every village in the state. It has about 32 divisional workshops, scores of bus depots and stands and also in-house bus manufacturing units.

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