Millennium Post

DTC strike: Commuters could be taken for a ride again

The union said they will wait for the forthcoming Budget Session as Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai had given them assurances to look into the matter and come out with ways of redressal. 

“DTC has around 12,000 contractual workers who face inhuman working conditions and are subjected to tremendous work pressure to meet targets given by the management. They are not paid equal wages at par with the permanent staff, for the same work. Their wages are not regularised. <g data-gr-id="43">Majority</g> of them are from neighbouring states or the border areas of the national Capital. They arrive at the depot every morning but may be turned away and denied work by the manager in case of any breakdown. 

“So, while they are officially ‘employed’, they are not even sure of getting any work throughout the month. They have no right to a paid or even unpaid weekly off,” DTC senior worker association’s general secretary Tara Chand said.  

“On April 29, all the DTC worker unions had held a meeting with the Delhi transport minister to discuss this issue. He assured that in the coming Budget Session he will take care of our demand for equal pay. DTC caters to around 45 lakh commuters <g data-gr-id="47">everyday</g> in comparison to 23 lakh Metro commuters daily. Every driver under the standard procedure operates a bus for 110 km in eight hours, a practice which was set in place almost two decades ago. So, it is easy to understand the amount of pressure on these workers,” he added.  

The contractual workers <g data-gr-id="34">especially,</g> supported the AAP and Kejriwal, based on the party’s promises to regularise contractual employees. “We don’t want to create any trouble for <g data-gr-id="33">people</g> but Delhi government must address our problems. We will decide our final step after this Budget Session,” said Chand. 

Recently, bus services were disrupted across the city due to the strike called by DTC employees demanding a compensation of Rs one crore to the <g data-gr-id="32">kin</g> of a driver killed in a road rage incident.

Lakhs of commuters faced hardships in commuting due to the strike. In order to restore normalcy in transport services, the Delhi government has clamped Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the agitating staff asking them to join their duties. However, DTC claimed that services in South and East Delhi were normal and more than 2,000 buses were plying on the road. 
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