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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Drive to recruit bus marshals runs into multiple roadblocks

When the government looked to the home department to provide Home Guards for the job, the response was that it too was facing a shortage — with up to 57% vacancies.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2019 04:26 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
New Delhi
Providing marshals in buses for safety of public, especially women, was one of the Aam Aadmi Party’s main poll promises during the 2015 assembly elections.
Providing marshals in buses for safety of public, especially women, was one of the Aam Aadmi Party’s main poll promises during the 2015 assembly elections.(HT image)
         

The Delhi government’s plan to deploy marshals in all its buses by October 29 has hit multiple roadblocks.

Following irregularities allegedly committed by one of its district magistrates, the revenue department stalled the recruitment of civil defence volunteers (CDVs) who were to be deployed as bus marshals.

When the government looked to the home department to provide Home Guards for the job, the response was that it too was facing a shortage — with up to 57% vacancies.

Providing marshals in buses for safety of public, especially women, was one of the Aam Aadmi Party’s main poll promises during the 2015 assembly elections. On June 3, the Delhi Cabinet had asked the transport department to ensure that all buses had marshals and that too throughout the day. The government had announced that all of them would be deployed by October 29 – the day when the free bus ride for women scheme would be launched.

CVD recruitment

The transport department had asked all district magistrates to recruit 10,000 CDVs to be deployed as marshals. “But, this has now been stalled because of an inquiry initiated by the anti-corruption branch. The then Shahdara district magistrate allegedly issued domicile certificates to 400 individuals, mostly from Rajasthan, who had appeared for the CDV recruitment drive. It is compulsory for CDVs to be a resident of Delhi,” said an official from the revenue department.

Then there was the rule — the revenue department stated that CDVs could render services only for a year. “Because of this rule, several CDVs who are currently deployed as bus marshals will also have to be replaced as some of them have served for 2-3 years,” the official said.

Home Guards short-staffed

With the option of CDVs being made bus marshals appearing difficult, the Delhi government, last week, asked the home department to deploy Home Guards for the job. But, the department has stated that it has a shortage of 5,735 Home Guard volunteers against the total sanctioned strength of 10,285.

“A meeting to find a solution was held on September 4. It has been decided that the vacancies will be filled by re-enrollment of ex-Home Guard volunteers who have served for three or more years. If vacancy still remains, then those who served for more than two years will be considered,” said a home department official.

The minutes of the meeting, seen by Hindustan Times , stated that the home department has agreed to provide 5,500 of its Home Guard volunteers to the transport department for deployment as bus marshals in DTC/Cluster buses. The remaining requirement over 7,000 marshals is to be arranged by the transport department “by exploring other possibilities”, the minutes read.

First Published: Sep 11, 2019 04:26 IST

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