Irked that a DTC driver kept insisting on working extra, the conductor of his bus allegedly bashed him up, police said. The incident took place at outer Delhi’s Najafgarh depot earlier this month. The bus driver, Narendra Tokas (32), suffered a fracture in his left hand, apart from several broken fingers and stitches on his head. Police said the bus broke down at 6 pm, and two mechanics fixed it by 6.55 pm. Police said the bus was supposed to leave at 7.05 pm for a trip to Delhi and back to Najafgarh, but the conductor, Govinda, was reluctant.
“The conductor wanted to avoid the trip, while the driver wanted to go. Initially, a minor scuffle broke out and the conductor left the bus. But a few minutes later, Govinda came back with his relatives and beat up the driver before fleeing,” said an officer.
Police registered a case at Najafgarh police station on February 2. Eight days after the incident, Tokas sat in his home, regretting his decision to become a driver — and his insistence on working overtime. Tokas, who started working as a DTC driver two years ago, said his family could not make enough money from farming on their four acres of land in Najafgarh’s Ghalibpur village.
“I got married in 2010 and have two kids. I realised agriculture cannot sustain my family, so I decided to work as a driver and also do overtime to earn around Rs 19,000 per month,” he said. Tokas said normal duty hours include a trip from Najafgarh to New Delhi and back, and overtime means twice as much work. He said that for each extra kilometre, he got Rs 4 which, clubbed with his salary, gave him enough to run the family and even save.
“Now, doctors have advised me rest for at least three months. My left hand, which I use to change gears, is fractured. I don’t know if I will get paid for the time I am recuperating,” said Tokas. He alleged he has received calls from officials asking him to make peace with the conductor.
“We both opted for double duty, but different rules apply to us. For a driver, compensation is given according to distance travelled. But conductors only need to log in and are given overtime money whether the bus moves or not,” Tokas said. Depot manager Vinod says that ever since the incident, the conductor has not been assigned any more duties.