Let DTC keep its own drivers: the transport department writes to CESL
To provide smooth services to the public and keeping in mind the thousands of drivers working for the Delhi Transport Corporation, the transport department intends to employ its own drivers for 2,000 electric buses which will be inducted in the future . The department has sent a request to Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), to introduce buses through Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME)II, a program of the Government of India, through which the Center supports states in the purchase of electric vehicles. ‘e- the buses.
According to officials, the 250 e-buses inducted over the past three months have DTC drivers, but the drivers are hired by the concessionaire. “The concessionaire who has the maintenance and operation contract for the buses for a period of 12 years also hires drivers on a contractual basis. Now the department has decided to introduce 2,000 buses into a system that will allow DTC drivers to get behind the wheel,” a transportation official said.
The AAP government has set itself the goal of purchasing only electric buses in the future for the public transport fleet. CM Arvind Kejriwal, during the inauguration of the second batch of electric buses, recently said that 80% of the buses that will be purchased in the coming years will be electric.
Officials said the main reason for the Transportation Department’s decision was to prevent unemployment and ensure that drivers working under DTC still have jobs.
“Almost all DTC buses have passed through the race…As new buses arrive, older ones will be phased out, and if the dealership brings in its own drivers for new buses, DTC drivers, especially those on a contractual basis, will be out of work. Also, when DTC has its own drivers and conductors in its buses, it will provide 100% services and service utilization will be better,” said another senior DTC official.
Officials said they aim to acquire 6,300 e-buses by 2025. Of these, a tender for the induction of around 4,000 will be launched within a month. “Of the total, 2,300 buses will be 9 meters long and will be for last-mile connectivity in places where standard buses cannot reach, such as rural areas of the city,” an official said.
According to a response from RTI by the DTC, it had 8,441 permanent drivers in 2015 and 5,344 in 2022, while the number of drivers fell from 5,745 to 185.
DTC Karamchari Ekta Union welcomed the government’s decision. “It’s a good measure because currently the companies that deliver the buses hire their own drivers. If this continues, we DTC drivers will be out of work,” said Manoj Sharma, the union’s general secretary.