Surplus staff of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) will be asked to retire under a voluntary retirement scheme. However, all depot managers, accountants, auditors and management personnel will be retained as there has been an acute shortage of such personnel, Transport Ministry sources said.
Transport Ministry Secretary Nihal Somaweera told The Island that the Ministry had formulated a policy to recruit management personnel, accountants and depot managers from amongst the existing staff and the employees who possess the required qualifications would be called for interviews to fill the available vacancies. If the internal employees did not have the necessary qualifications, applications would be called from outside.
He pointed out that SLTB had encountered a grave problem of excess staff, especially minor staff such as labourers, peons and servicemen and Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma had already taken steps to streamline the Board and resolve the ever increasing problems faced.
Referring to the import of new buses, Somaweera said that SLTB had already placed orders for 1,000 buses each year for three years and the buses would be distributed to all depots equally island wide. The Ministry was positive that SLTB could be improved within the next few years as a profitable enterprise.
Somaweera noted that the non-availability of sufficient sleepers for the railway tracks had caused several problems and the government had decided to import steel sleepers as they were found to be more durable than wooden sleepers. All defective railway engines would also be repaired with the technical assistance of the British government. The CGR would call for tenders to purchase 100 engines shortly.