If you have ever sweated it out at a bus stop waiting for a DTC bus to show up, you ought to know that it was partially because drivers meant to man these vehicles were busy driving the car of a babu or a minister.
As per transport department sources, close to 400 such drivers are working with various Delhi government departments on a diverted basis for a period of time. The DTC has a shortfall of at least 2,000 drivers. The gap is set to rise to 4,500 as the corporation acquires 2,500 new buses by yearend.
The DTC fleet is being upgraded with the Commonwealth Games around the corner and the transport department is now desperately trying to repatriate these drivers to their parent cadre.
Alarmed over the situation, Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely on Friday shot off an order (a copy of which HT has seen) to the DTC managing director, instructing him to repatriate all drivers to their regular duty with immediate effect.
DTC is set to get another 150 low-floor buses by August-end for which it will require at least 250 drivers.
“DTC drivers are in demand for driving around minister and senior officials as they are easily available,” said a transport department official, who refused to be identified as he wasn’t authorised to speak to media.
“The drivers themselves lobby for a transfer in a minister’s office as these postings are considered influential. And it is much more comfortable than driving a bus around the whole day,”
The drivers are now being withdrawn on an urgent basis and the DTC is supposed to submit a detailed list of those posted with other departments by Monday.