NASHIK: Against the backdrop of losses incurred during the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation has launched freight service i.e. Mahacargo service to increase revenue. However, due to inadequate facilities which is affecting health and safety, the staff in this goods transport service is feeling exhausted.
Resentment has spread among the employees as the ST administration is also ignoring the shortcomings in the freight service which is getting good response. On tbis backdrop, Maharashtra State Transport Employees’ Union (MSTEU) has sought necessary facilities to the concerned employees.
Most of the freight trucks of ST are running overloaded, which is indirectly affecting its revenue. For a distance of less than two kilometers, drivers are not provided with co-workers while loading and unloading the goods. Also, there are difficulties in moving the vehicle reverse and forward as the driver is the lone person.
In spite of the instructions that if a freight truck from one division goes to another destination, the employees should not stop there for more than two days. The fact is that the employees have to wait for 4 to 5 days or more. Also, the staff is facing huge inconvenience due to lack of accommodation facility and breakfast. Employees are being forced to take a weekly off on the spot if the vehicle is stuck due to lockdown restrictions.
Rely on private vehicles
Currently, ST Corporation’s passenger transport service is closed in all parts of the state due to the lockdown. Therefore, the freight service personnel have to rely on private vehicles to return to the original division after delivering the goods. The concerned employees have to return home at their own cost. Also, as the hotel business is closed, there are cries of not getting food with breakfast when required.
Better response, but employees feel neglected
ST Corporation’s Mahacargo which made its debut in the freight sector during the coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge leap in just one year. Mahacargo, which offers affordable rates and safer services compared to private transport companies, has crossed the 14- million kilometer mark of freight in the last one year and has accumulated revenue crores of revenue for the corporation.
“A special allowance of Rs 300 per day should be given to the employees in the freight service considering the inconvenience due to lack of accomodation facility and provision of breakfast. Appropriate arrangements should also be made for accommodation at the place of stay.” - Sandeep Shinde, President, MSTEU