The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hard work by busmen wins health cover

The Calcutta State Transport Corporation (CSTC) has lined up a string of facilities for its 8,500 employees as a token of their hard work and goodwill. A health insurance scheme, for which the premium will be borne by the corporation, and a hospital with all modern amenities and specialist doctors are on the cards.

CSTC officials said the facilities were a bonanza for the employees, who had improved the corporation’s activities and generated more revenue by sheer hard work. The CSTC was fully dependent on government subsidy for paying the salaries of its employees till even a few years ago.

“The CSTC had been hit by a severe financial crisis for the past few years and, as a result, we could not take up any new project. All our earnings, including the government subsidy, was spent on the wages of our employees. But there has been a turnaround and the income has rapidly increased. We have been able to cut down on unnecessary expenditure and also weed out corruption. We believe all this has been possible for the initiative and goodwill of the employees. So, we want to do something for them,’’ said CSTC managing director G.P. Konar.

According to the CSTC plan, all the employees will be brought under the medical insurance scheme, which includes accident benefit. The insurance will be made so that employees can avail of treatment from any reputed hospital or nursing home. In case of an accident, the employees, especially those on field duty including drivers, conductors and inspectors, will get cash for the treatment.

The hospital will come up on a CSTC plot and a final decision on the location will be made soon, sources said. Konar said the employees had been demanding medical facilities, housing and other allowances for some time, but the corporation failed to meet their requirements due to paucity of funds.

“Now we are stable and can offer them what they want. The corporation has had to cross several hurdles to reach this position. We have been able to increase our daily sales by Rs 3 lakh. We are trying to reduce our dependence on the state subsidy,” he added. “We got a very good response from our employees after announcing the incentives and awards for them. Besides, we got good returns by utilising our vehicles properly.’’

Appreciating the move, joint secretary of the transport department Prashant said: “If the CSTC earns more money, it will be spent for the development of the corporation and the benefit of its employees.’’

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