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SLTB slapped with Rs.1 bn losses due to corruption, fraud, reckless driving

10 June 2023 06:02 am - 22     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The cash-strapped Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), the state-run bus service, is reeling from staggering losses of Rs. 1 billion per year, attributed to rampant corruption, irregularities and accidents involving its fleet, an official said.

This is in addition to the potential financial losses resulting from improper procurement procedures for spare parts.

Currently, the SLTB has a fleet of 6,800 buses, but only 5,800 are operational. Its Chairman Lalith de Alvis told Daily Mirror that the SLTB suffers an estimated revenue loss of a staggering Rs. 720 million annually due to malpractices by bus conductors and fraudulent passengers.

He said, "Approximately 50 percent of bus conductors are directly involved in ticketing fraud. They collect fares from passengers but fail to issue tickets, causing significant revenue leakage for the SLTB. Moreover, some passengers deliberately evade fare payments, particularly short-distance travellers in areas like Colombo."

Asked about the methodology used to estimate revenue loss, he said it was based on findings from random raids conducted by SLTB flying squads. "We sample these findings and extrapolate the average loss," he added.

The SLTB management is currently evaluating the losses incurred through irregularities in the procurement process.

He said that the SLTB is compelled to allocate Rs. 465 million to cover damages resulting from bus accidents. (Kelum Bandara)


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  Comments - 22

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  • Dee Saturday, 10 June 2023 06:28 AM

    It will be a great threat on national security if SLTB is privatized. So funny this country is and how the ‘literate’ think!

    Parakrama Saturday, 10 June 2023 06:29 AM

    Privatise this corrupt white elephant. But give it to a good company

    Adwani Saturday, 10 June 2023 06:32 AM

    It is wrongly estimated and based on passengers cheating. The actual fraud is removal of parts and fuel from the tank, which are sold to private bus owners. Sometimes the parts are removed and sold back to suppliers at lesser price, after that the same item is purchased again for replacement in another bus. Stages of fraud are a lot involving top to bottom staff, simply to base the losses on passengers is totally wrong.

    A patriotic Saturday, 10 June 2023 07:12 AM

    Yes, that we can see a growing environment as if corrupted, however, most of the foreign countries acquired online ticket system using cards, why our country is not yet implemented?, coz of the technological gap.

    Jude Fernando Saturday, 10 June 2023 07:13 AM

    Very simple. Close it down. Use the savings of State funds, which is anyway public funds to revamp, train, and regulate the private transport services. These too are an absolute mess.

    SLTB is vital, essential for public to have it operate Saturday, 10 June 2023 11:18 AM

    Close it down. How about public, are you a rich car owner, with a driver. Most people cannot afford car, and take public transport. For your information, since you show ignorance, private buses are generally more troublesome, and dangerous than even SLTB. If SLTB was not around bus fare would rise 50% quickly in a year, and double again the following year.

    J.D. Fernandopulle [Attorney-at-Law] Saturday, 10 June 2023 07:41 AM

    If we have a Transport Minister like Bandula always there for 20% commission what else we could expect from CTB.

    Dr. H.P. Silva Saturday, 10 June 2023 07:44 AM

    Bandula Gunawardene is responsible for the losses by CTB and non-others because he never site the Head Office either to know what is happening in the CTB and why we should have this good for nothing guy.

    Poor citizen Saturday, 10 June 2023 07:50 AM

    Conductors are corrupt with the blessings of politicians! Politicians protect them when caught with fraudulent acts! Whole system including most people I general are corrupt and dishonest ! A cancer incurable, grown out of control! Unfortunately politicians and most general public are against cleaning up the corrupt system due to fear of loosing income from corrupt practices!

    kumar Saturday, 10 June 2023 08:02 AM

    Not a big deal; we can easily offset that minor loss by implementing a small tax on the public. However, under no circumstances can these institutions be privatized ignoring national security.

    Ram Saturday, 10 June 2023 09:00 AM

    The Managing Chairman

    Sunil Saturday, 10 June 2023 09:19 AM

    Even as late as two decades ago the CTB drivers were reputed for their safe driving, compared to other drivers in Sri Lanka. Even that is now lost. Recently many CTB buses were involved in tragic accidents. Notwithstanding the losses incurred, an issue that can be addressed in due course, start with enforcing safe driving practices for CTB drivers.

    Observer Saturday, 10 June 2023 09:24 AM

    The Government is fully bent on privatising profit making assets like the SLT and a few other Institutions . Why is it that the SLTB with so much of losses not included in the list for privatisation or other reform? Is it because the SLTB serves as a dumping ground for their cronies and supporters ?

    Susiri Perera Saturday, 10 June 2023 09:33 AM

    Bandula as usual made a statement that he would introduce QR system for tickets and two months gone. Wherever he goes and manages, it bound to make a losses he is not a pratical man. He must resign without wasting public money

    Karalasingam Sivalingam Saturday, 10 June 2023 11:57 AM

    Send the excess staff on voluntary retirement, take disciplinary action for reckless driving. SLTB will never show profit, handover SLTB to a foreign country similar to gas distribution and sale. There wasn't a single year, SLTB showed any profit.

    DJ Saturday, 10 June 2023 12:45 PM

    Nothing new.

    Viswa Saturday, 10 June 2023 01:16 PM

    Full of poor human souls, blaming them only will not sole the problem. The entire system need counseling. The all look broken, confused, dilapidated. Government knows how to run system without corruption and wastage. They do not want to implement a proper system.

    Tissa Fernando Saturday, 10 June 2023 05:06 PM

    SLTB , Sri Lankan Airlines, Government Railway and Ceylon Petroliam Corporation are institutions heavily misused for the benefits of politicians, officials and some employees. They have huge Depot space filled with junk, These institutions are no longer managed by the same people so only practical solution is to privatise or get a country like Japan or China to turn them around. It is not going to help public to hold on to these loss making giants. Privatisation with proper regulation to protect the employees and customers and the country as a whole.

    Sam Silva Saturday, 10 June 2023 05:57 PM

    What do you accept from a most corrupted, third world country.

    Zaza Sunday, 11 June 2023 01:03 AM

    At one point we had private bus Companies and they did an excellent job. Then came nationalization and with it came the downfall. Now all national ventures have become a graveyard for our economy.

    DillonDP Sunday, 11 June 2023 06:54 AM

    SLTB flying squad. Wiwee

    Jayampathi Sunday, 11 June 2023 08:15 AM

    Corruption increases when bus workers can't cope with COL. Overall the problem islandwide is 'Adinna Dana' doesn't give its literal meaning Theft. So they are not thieves, not scared, not ashamed of being thieves, not bothered.


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