The State government has finally put brakes on the secretariat employees who sneak away early from office to get a seat in Peak Hour Service (PHS) buses: It has banned employees from arriving at PHS bus stands before 5.30 pm and warned them that the entire day would be treated as leave as punishment if the direction is violated.
The State Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR), in a recent circular to the heads of all departments, directed them to keep a watch on staff who slip away much before office hours in the evening. Attendance Monitoring Officers, who are mostly deputy secretaries at the section level, have been directed to conduct surprise inspections on the employees’ movement.
“It has been observed that many officers and staff occupy seats in PHS buses much before the end of the office hours in the evening (5.30 pm). To prevent it, entry into PHS bus stands by employees has been banned before 5.30 pm,” the circular said.
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation provides PHS service to those working in the State secretariat, including those in the Vidhana Soudha, Vikasa Soudha and M S Building, during peak hours both in the morning and evening.
There had been fierce competition among employees who commute in these buses to get seats for themselves. So much was the competition that a large number of the employees, both men and women, started stealthily leaving office before 5.30 pm, affecting work.
Those who stayed in office till 5.30 pm, as per the rule book, were finally the losers: They never got seats in the buses.
In many instances, the latecomers (those who stayed in office till 5.30 pm) could not even get into the buses due to heavy rush. They, as a result, ended up reaching home late. This has been the trend in the last one year, officials in the secretariat said.
The has also taken exception to the employees idling away in the corridors during office hours and directed the departmental heads to issue stern warning to such staff members.
“The employees must obtain permission of the section heads for moving out and mandatorily record the reason for leaving the office in the register book,” the circular stated.