New Delhi, Oct 28 (PTI) Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Saturday said he will issue directions on deploying bus marshals as home guards so that they do not lose their jobs and passengers are also not left inconvenienced.
Amid a tussle between the Delhi government and the lieutenant governor's (LG) office over the termination of the services of the civil defence volunteers, Gahlot said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal never issued any direction for their termination.
However, the LG Secretariat maintained that it was Kejriwal who had proposed the termination of the civil defence volunteers' services.
Addressing a press conference here, Gahlot, who also holds the home portfolio, said the chief minister has asked him to issue directions on deploying bus marshals as home guards.
"The bus marshals are trained manpower. Deploying them as home guards will ensure that they remain employed and passengers also feel comfortable while travelling in buses. I will issue necessary directions to the secretary (home)," he said.
Gahlot also said he had issued directions several times in the past to release the dues of the civil defence volunteers who have been deployed as bus marshals, but alleged that there were attempts to stop the work being done by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
"The AAP government and Chief Minister Kejriwal are with the civil defence volunteers. Our attempts are to ensure that the bus marshals get deployed as home guards," he added.
Asked about the allegation that it was Kejriwal who had proposed the termination of the bus marshals' services, Gahlot stressed that the chief minister had never issued such directions.
"He has continuously ordered that the civil defence volunteers should not be removed. Even I have written on the files several times that they should not be terminated since they are important for women's safety.
"The chief minister has never said that the civil defence volunteers working as bus marshals should be removed. In fact, in a note sent to the LG, we made three demands -- first to release the pending salaries of the bus marshals and deploy them as home guards for the time being so that their services do not discontinue," the transport minister said.
The LG Secretariat, however, claimed that the truth was different.
"The fact remains that it was the chief minister who had proposed termination of the services of the civil defence volunteers with effect from November 1 and it was the LG who had directed that the employment of the CDVs as home guards be explored," said an official from the LG's secretariat.
"It was the LG who had flagged loss of livelihood and urged the chief minister to look at it.
"The LG raised serious livelihood concerns if the services of the civil defence volunteers were terminated, as it was proposed by the chief minister in paragraph 766 in the file sent by him. The LG directed the chief minister that the CDVs who lose their jobs in the process should be considered for appointment as home guards against 10,000 positions he had approved recently," the official added.
LG V K Saxena on Friday approved a proposal of the chief minister to terminate the services of all civil defence volunteers with effect from November 1, with sources in the AAP government saying they will approach the Supreme Court if this happens, setting off a fresh tussle between the two sides. The LG also directed the chief minister to consider recruiting the volunteers as home guards. PTI SLB RC