A photographer, a former call centre employee and a home guard are among the nearly 12,000 people who had applied for the post of a conductor in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) six years ago. The odd-even scheme threw a surprise for them this month, opening 3,000 vacancies, but for a while.
Though transport minister Gopal Rai has announced the hiring is for 15 days only, those making the cut for the “government job” are excited there is some forward movement, and possibly the prospect of something permanent. Their hopes are up even though the DTC has been hiring drivers and conductors on contract basis for years.
The Delhi government has announced 6,000 private buses will ply during the implementation of the odd-even scheme. However, DTC will provide the conductors on the private buses. “For the 6000 buses we plan to hire around 3,000 new conductors. The other half will be covered by conductors already with us. We have hired more than 700 of the proposed 3,000 so far,” said R S Minhas, PRO, DTC.
The DTC last recruited conductors in 2010, when it procured 3,500 buses in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games. “This year we are calling those who registered in 2009 and 2010. We are using the list the employment exchange gave us in 2010,” said a DTC official.
The jobs have not materialised, but it has not deterred aspirants. Since 2011, more than 1 lakh aspirants have registered with the Employment Exchange for the post of conductor. This is a sharp rise from earlier. About 32,000 had registered for the post between 1992 and 2010.
But it is not all rosy. The DTC headquarters has seen angry faces too this month. Many who got a call for the first time in six years were caught off guard; their licences and first aid certificates expired or not updated. Sources said it was likely many had moved to other states, crossed the age bar, got employed elsewhere, or, never got to know.
Meet the applicants
Last Job: At a call centre
Rita and her sister Saakshi, after getting a licence from the transport authority, sent their CVs to the government in 2009 when the Employment Exchange notified vacancies for 4,000 conductors. Saakshi made it, Rita did not. “I began working in a call centre after a year. But I worked for only six months. My parents objected to the late hours. I did not work later, but I will now. Who doesn’t want to earn money and be independent?”
Naresh, a freelance photographer who works for Delhi High Court, vernacular newspapers and other projects, got married in 2014. He makes roughly Rs 400 a day. “I need a stable job like this government one with the DTC… I waited for this for so long.” Many like Naresh do not want to talk about the “government job” lasting only 15 days and are latching onto every word emerging from the DTC corridors. For instance, this remark from an official: “After the 15 days, we will keep the names of these recruits in our database. When we procure more buses, we will absorb them. We are planning to get 1,000 buses by August, 2016.”
Ajay (name changed), 29
Occupation: Home guard
Residence: Hari Nagar
Status: Not Selected
For Ajay, this is the last year of his five-year term as a home guard. “The Employment Exchange skipped my name when they prepared the list and gave it to the DTC in 2010. I missed my chance for an interview in 2010. This year, when I heard conductors are being recruited, I came to the DTC and found my name was still not there… I lost my chance because of an omission on the part of the Employment Exchange.”
Harish Kumar, 32
Last Job: Loader at rice packaging company
Residence: Chirag Dilli
Harish Kumar had no steady job, “so, no wife”. A school dropout, he did not have many options. Last, he worked briefly as a labourer loading and offloading sacks of rice. “One of the few jobs I could apply for was this,” said Harish, as his friend Manik, a DTC driver, stood with him and waited for the results.
Occupation: Autorickshaw driver
Residence: Nand Nagri
Status: Not Selected
Bhisham got his call for the interview last week. He came, but with an expired licence and was asked to come back later. “I will not be selected. I need at least a month for all this paperwork. Getting them in the next few days, while earning my daily wage, will be impossible.”