‘Disengagement of experts & consultants hampering work of Delhi Transport dept’

New Delhi: Key policies and schemes of the Delhi government’s Transport department, including electric vehicles and cab and bus aggregators, have been affected due to the disengagement of experts and consultants, official sources said on Sunday.

A total of 437 specialists, advisors and fellows appointed by the Arvind Kejriwal government in different departments were terminated by the Services department following the lieutenant governor’s order.

The appointments were discontinued over alleged non-transparent manner of recruitment and violation of reservation norms. Later, the Finance department of the Delhi government also asked the departments to stop salaries of such appointees.

Officials said around 50 advisors and experts were engaged in the Transport department who were playing crucial role in formulations of various policies and schemes related to electric vehicle, cab aggregators and premium bus service.

“The work on these including electric vehicle policy 2.0, cab aggregator policy and premium bus service has halted due to removal of the consultants. The highly qualified domain experts were closely associated with these policies and schemes that were still in formulation stage when they were given marching orders,” a senior government officer said.

The issue was also raised in the recently concluded session of the Delhi Assembly. The 437 advisors and fellows removed included 116 working in the Delhi Assembly. The House referred to its privileges committee the issue of disengagement of fellows for action against the officers responsible for doing so.

The AAP government has challenged in the Supreme Court the termination of consultants and fellows appointed by it. CM Arvind Kejriwal has assured Delhi people that hurdles like this may slow the speed of works undertaken by his government, but all the schemes and projects will continue.

The ambitious electric vehicle policy that was notified in 2020 expired earlier this month. Its new version is likely to get delayed by two-three months. Similarly, the cab aggregator policy and the premium bus service that are long overdue will also get delayed further by a few months, officials added.

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