Friday, July 31, 2009

On oral instructions, MTC loses more than a crore.

This happened before the elections. Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) suddenly dropped fares without any prior intimation. It was evident that this was done with an eye on the elections. This was, of course, widely reported in the newspapers.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Chennai/Bus-fares-down-EC-not-amused/articleshow/4470040.cms
http://www.hindu.com/2009/05/01/stories/2009050158450300.htm
http://www.hindu.com/2009/05/03/stories/2009050359930400.htm

This reduced fares were maintained for 4 days, but it was withdrawn, when EC came down heavily on this. As reported in the third article listed above, the MTC lost 35 lakhs on 30th April alone. I filed an RTI to know further information about this. The RTI application can be seen here. The replies I got to this can be seen here. Rough calculations (considering that May 1st was a public holiday, and that May 2nd and 3rd were Saturday and Sunday), MTC lost more than a crore on these 4 days. Considering that a bus costs roughly Rs.15 Lakhs, MTC could have added 6-7 buses to their fleet with this money. And it was wasted. Just because some politician asked MTC reduce fares just to please voters. I think what is more important to do in this case is to try nail down the responsibility of this reduction to one person and extract from him as to who exactly asked him to reduce fares. And then hope that it will serve as a lesson for others who want to interfere in the future. As is obvious from the reply, for questions 2-9 they have given a vague reply. I have filed a first appeal. Let me see if I get proper answers from them. If not, it will again be a long drawn out case, since I will have to approach the State Information Commission. This information was highlighted in The Hindu here. Actually, that I should file an RTI application, was itself suggested by Shyam of The Hindu. I think it will be a worthwhile cause to pursuse it to the end.

3 comments:

Mahesh Kumar said...

Nice work. These post offices doesnt even bother to take care of important documents. very careless people. shld be taught better lesson.

Mahesh Kumar said...

Yes, Madhav, Get the actual loss incurred by MTC because of the populist measure of the govt. Let either MTC Top Mgmt pay from their pockets or the Political party make good the loss.
Only then Govt babus will learn a lesson and will not succumb to the presures form politicians.
It shld follow a civil suit too only then the loss can be recovered and erring official be punished.

Sowmya said...

Madhav, when i was in CAG I also asked for these information and the name of the people who had given such orders and a copy of it.Unfortunately I am not able to get the present status of my application or a copy of the reply they sent. If possible you coordinate with staff at CAG and see if response from MTC is of any use to take it forward.