Karnataka: Transport employees say politicians to blame for woman’s death | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Employees of state transport undertakings (STUs) squarely blamed political leaders and senior bureaucrats for the recent suicide of the wife of a BMTC driver and the deaths of their two children. They say many employees and family members are contemplating suicide due to financial distress.
STU staff said they received only 50% of their August salaries and claimed there is no assurance that they would get September salary on time. Salaries are usually paid by the 10th of the month.
“More than 200 employees of four STUs died due to Covid but the government has failed to provide the Rs 30 lakh compensation to their family members even after a year,” said Anand, a BMTC employee and union leader. “The government is responsible for the deaths of Prasanna Kumar’s wife and children. It has blood on its hands. They are not even paying monthly salaries on time forcing others to contemplate suicide.”
Vasantha, 36, wife of late Prasanna Kumar, attached to Peenya depot, committed suicide on Saturday after allegedly killing her son and daughter. Kumar died of Covid in August last year.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, a group of employees staged a protest in Bengaluru demanding reinstatement of sacked staff. R Chandrashekar, president, Karnataka State Road Transport Employees’ League, said: “The government should pay the remaining 50% salary of August and full salary of September without delay. Transport employees work throughout the year but earn less than other government employees.”
A BMTC conductor at Shantinagar depot said: “I have to pay EMIs, buy essentials and pay school fees. When the government has money for other purposes, why can’t it pay our full salaries on time? We work in high-risk environments and are vulnerable to Covid. But there is no assurance from the government that they will help my family if something happens to me. Will IAS officers stay quiet if they get half salary? We also have commitments and expenses.” Chandrashekar said many employees including women and the differently abled were transferred after the 15-day strike in April. “It’s difficult for women to leave their families behind and work in remote areas,” he said. “Employees have lost their livelihoods. There are several employees on the verge of retirement who have not received salaries for the past six months due to the dismissal orders. Many false complaints were also filed against employees across the state.”
He said many employees and their family members are committing suicide for these reasons. “We want the government to withdraw all dismissal, transfer and suspension cases and provide salaries on time,” said Chandrashekar.
A transport department official said talks are on with the finance department to release funds to pay pending dues.”

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Sagar Biswas

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