The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bangalore expert foreign to Citu

Calcutta, July 20: Citu, the ruling CPM’s labour arm, is on a collision course with the government over the appointment of a Bangalore-based expert to help the ailing Calcutta State Transport Corporation make profit.

Citu today said it would force the corporation to cancel the appointment of B. Shamba Shetty, a retired general manager of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation.

Shetty was hired on the government’s advice in April to improve service and help tide over a financial crisis. He was to oversee work at the corporation’s central workshop in Belgachhia and its 11 depots across the city.

Narayan Saha, general secretary of the Citu-affiliated CSTC Employees’ Union, today said all engineers would be asked to stop reporting to Shetty. He said since the expert arrived, many of the corporation’s engineers have been without work.

“We are absolutely against the appointment of a retired chief engineer from Bangalore. This is a sheer wastage of money when the corporation can very well find someone from the outfit itself to do the job.”

The Citu’s next course of action will be decided after leading a deputation to Bhattacharjee on July 30. “If we don’t have our way, we will go on a month-long agitation which would include gheraoing CSTC managing director G.P. Konar’s office and preventing Shetty from entering CSTC depots and the Belgachhia central workshop,” Saha said.

Konar defended the appointment, saying it was made on the recommendation of Central Institute of Road Transport and RITES, a technical consultancy.

Shetty’s first assignment was to oversee improvement of productivity at Belgachhia and some of his suggestions had already helped the corporation reduce expenditure on spare parts, he said.

The man at the centre of the controversy appeared unconcerned. “In Bangalore, we have an Aituc-affiliated union in the transport sector and they are very co-operative. I don’t know anything about Citu’s game plan here,” Shetty said.

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