BANGALORE: The year of 2009 could be memorable to thousands of drivers aspiring to land a job with state-run road transport corporations.
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), North-Eastern Road Transport Corporation (NERTC) and North-Western Road Transport Corporation (NWRTC) will be recruiting about 18,000 drivers, conductors and mechanics in the coming days, transport minister R Ashok announced here on Tuesday.
Orders have already been issued to initiate the recruitment process and 30 per cent of the posts would be reserved for women, providing an opportunity to the fairer sex to storm another hitherto male bastion.
But going by past experience, it would not be surprising if men fill up the posts reserved for women if the required number of women candidates were not available, the minister admitted.
Claiming that the KSRTC had been a major source of employment for Kannadigas, the minister said about 98 per cent of its staff were locals and "we are especially happy that 60 per cent of them are from the backward northern Karnataka region".
Denying irregularities in recruitment of drivers, Ashok said all the appointments would be finalized through the computerized driver testing centre at Bidadi. The fully computerized system would complete the test process from measuring the candidates' height and weight to allocating marks to their driving skills on a special driving track.
The candidates will get the results of their driving tests on the spot.
The state government is also setting up four state-of-the-art driving training schools at Hassan, Nelamangala, Hubli and Gulbarga.
About 56 acres of land is being acquired for the Hassan school and work would soon be initiated on other schools.
These driving schools would have modern driving simulators and computerized systems to test the driving skills of licence applicants. The state government has already procured eight drivers' training simulators for the purpose.
Brake inspectors face the heat
In a revelation of the shocking state of affairs in the transport department, Ashok himself admitted that scores of brake inspectors, recruited to test and issue fitness certificates to public vehicles, did not even know how to drive.
"Some of them are now busy in the evenings trying to learn the art of driving. Most of them can be seen driving lorries on the highways on the City outskirts as a result of my tough stand against such incompetent officers," Ashok said.
The minister also revealed that 46 candidates out of the 125 selected by the KPSC for recruitment as brake inspectors had been found medically unfit for the post. Several of them had poor eyesight, he added.