Mismanagement is costing Bangalore Metro crores: says Rail Employees Union

BANGALORE: The Bangalore Metro Rail Employees Union, which had infamously disrupted services once for seven hours last year, has alleged that Namma Metro is losing around ₹40 crore a year due to mismanagement, financial irregularities and favouritism towards some contract employees.

“Namma Metro need not wait for ridership to touch five lakh a day to break even. It can report a profit if the management takes initiative to fix a few anomalies,” Surya Narayana Murthy, Vice-President of the Union and former employee of Namma Metro, said.

He suspected a scam in the monthly bill payments to about 12 private cab agencies that provide pick-up and drop facility to officials for site inspection. “For years, the BMRCL has been spending ₹50 lakh a month towards payment to the cab agencies. How could the monthly bill be so huge when there are only 50-odd site officials?” he asked.

As proof, Murthy showed documents — accessed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act — on monthly payments made to the cab agencies. “The expenditure is equal to buying five new cars every month or 60 new cars every year,” he said.

He also questioned the recruitment of 769 contract employees and the company’s promotion policy. “Already, there are about 1,230 regular employees who work in the operation & maintenance department as train operators, station managers and so on. What purpose does it serve to hire contract employees when all the other work, including construction and housekeeping, is outsourced?” he asked.

Murthy alleged the BMRCL hired at least 500 contract employees even though there was no requirement and suspected irregularities in the recruitment process. The company, he said, does not have a proper promotion policy for contract employees. “Some employees are being promoted with exorbitant hike based on the recommendation of a few influential officers.”

He alleged financial irregularities and undue favours while allotting retail spaces, advertisements and parking management at stations. “If the management is not able to manage the company property, why are they being paid?” Murthy, a practising advocate, said. “If the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) takes up a probe, the BMRCL will find it difficult to defend itself,” he said.

BMRCL managing director Ajay Seth said he will discuss the matter with the union. “The union has raised a few issues. We will discuss the issue in detail,” he said.

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