No bus depots will be closed - Lokuge | Daily News

No bus depots will be closed - Lokuge

The Government has not taken steps to close down any Bus Depot, asserted Transport Minister Gamini Lokuge yesterday.

He said this Government unlike the former Good Governance Government has stabilised the bus depots to a great extent and they can pay the wages of the employees. He said the trade unions are attempting to distort reality and create a false image in the minds of the public about the Government.

He made these observations at the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) media briefing held at Water’s Edge in Battaramulla.

“When I took up this morning’s paper, I saw that the Sri Lanka Transport Employees’ Union making a request to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa not to allow the closure of SLTB sub-depots,” the Minister said.

“We will not close down any depot unlike the previous Government,” asserted Minister Lokuge.

He said the income of most of the bus depots saw a drop during the previous regime due to mismanagement.

“When we took over the Government, it was not possible to pay the wages of 15 depots. When the country was plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, bus depots were not in a position to even cover their daily expenses”.

“However, during inspections it became apparent that there were two or three depots situated close to each other which were running at a loss. The State Minister decided to turn those depots into profit making ones. We always discuss issues with trade unions before decisions are taken,” the Minister asserted.

He added the Opposition is attempting to imply the Government has done nothing after coming to power. Apart from controlling the spread of COVID-19, the Government has been able to provide subsidies for poor people and jobs for graduates.

He also said that a programme to develop agriculture was launched even amidst the pandemic.