Goa: Bal Rath drivers, attendants without pay for months

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 12, 2012 14:28 hrs

Panaji, Oct 12 (IBNS) The drivers and attendants of state-sponsored Bal Rath buses are agitated as the Goa government has allegedly failed to clear dues of educational institutes which have buses for their students.

Directorate of Education, a statutory body for the scheme, has released about Rs 83 lakh to 315 buses out of a total 399 buses plying in 206 schools across the state.

But what is worrying is that the outstanding of around Rs 3 crores is pending forcing the ambitious transportation scheme to hit the rock bottom. The government is yet to pay dues from June to September.

Each school has been given minimum one bus for ferrying students to and fro.

Every bus is entitled for drivers and attendants' salaries, diesel and maintenance cost of the bus.

Director of Education D P Dwivedi said that schools haven't submitted their bills and therefore payments are pending.

"We have cleared all dues of schools which submitted details accounts and information. We are still in the process of receiving details from the remaining schools," he said.

Bal Rath drivers and attendants are the most affected as their livelihood has been at stake. Driver Mohammad Rafiq said that he hasn't received his payment for the last four months.

"I am the only bread earner for the entire family. How long will I take loan from neighbours?" he said.

One of the school managements said that they were able to utilize the management funds and run the bus for 3 months but the bus hasn't been plying for the last 1 month due to no maintenance.

The sudden shifting of scheme from the Social Welfare to the Education department has put spokes in the wheel of its implementation.

(Reporting by John Edwards)

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