Thursday is the last day of work for 400 ex-servicemen the AAP government employed six months ago to enforce the second phase of odd-even scheme and fill vacancies of foot constables in the transport department.
The ex-servicemen, however, camped at the transport authority in Civil Lines Wednesday, asking authorities for extensions. They had staged a dharna outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s house Tuesday on the issue, and had earlier approached the Lieutenant Governor’s office.
“The Delhi government has this use-and-throw policy. It needed men to enforce odd-even, so it hired us. And now it does not need us any more, so it is dismissing us. Where will we go now?” said Kanwar Singh, a former Subedar Major.
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The Delhi Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Kejriwal in March, had decided to deploy ex-servicemen in the enforcement wing of the transport department. The deployments were made against vacancies of posts of foot constables for six months or till vacancies were filled permanently. However, the ex-servicemen said in May that then transport minister Gopal Rai had moved a proposal to extend the tenure of their service for another six months.
H Yadav, a retired Subedar Major, said, “The government has been sitting on our files for months. It has been sweet-talking us into believing that it is going to hire us permanently. It was a lie. It has asked us not to report to work Thursday onwards.”
P S Malik, who retired as a warrant officer from the Air Force, said, “I left my (private) job, which fetched me Rs 40,000 because this was a government job, which I thought would be a permanent one. But it turned out to be a six-month deal. The government had offered us Rs 25,000 per month, but was paying Rs 15,000. Where am I going to find a new job now?” Yadav said, “We are going to court to set the matter of our extension of services and monthly wages of Rs 25,000 right.”
Despite attempts, Transport Minister Satyendar Jain could not be reached for comment.