Considering the experience and qualifications of existing civil defense volunteers working as bus marshals, Kejriwal proposed the development of a plan to appoint them solely as home guards while retaining their roles as bus marshals .
In a recent development, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has issued a directive to his Home Minister, calling for the appointment of civil defense volunteers as home guards and their deployment as marshals on public transport buses in Delhi. This move comes in response to protests by civil defense volunteers working as bus marshals who have been experiencing delays in receiving their wages for several months .
The Chief Minister emphasized the significant role played by bus marshals in reducing incidents of pickpocketing and other minor crimes on public buses. He expressed concerns about the financial well-being of these bus marshals, as they often come from humble backgrounds. Kejriwal urged Home Minister Kailash Gahlot to swiftly devise plans for this transition.
In a letter addressed to Home Minister Kailash Gahlot, Kejriwal underscored the importance of retaining bus marshals and suggested a plan to appoint them as home guards while continuing their duties as bus marshals unless there are specific complaints against any individual. Kejriwal’s note stated, “These civil defense volunteers come from very humble backgrounds, and it will put their families in severe financial crisis if they are suddenly removed. So, if we appoint the same set of people as home guards and put them on bus marshal duty, on one hand, the government will get experienced people, and on the other hand, their jobs will continue. Please prepare a plan accordingly.”
Acknowledging legal objections to the ongoing deployment of civil defense volunteers as bus marshals, the Chief Minister revealed, “Legal objections have been raised about the continuation of civil defense volunteers as bus marshals. It has been said that civil defense volunteers cannot be engaged in regular duties and that they can be called only during any disaster. Therefore, it has been suggested that home guards be appointed as bus marshals instead of civil defense volunteers.”
He also informed that he had separately proposed to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) that civil defense volunteers should continue as bus marshals until an adequate number of home guards are appointed in their place. Kejriwal emphasized the importance of the bus marshals’ presence for the safety of female passengers.
Considering the experience and qualifications of existing civil defense volunteers working as bus marshals, Kejriwal proposed the development of a plan to appoint them solely as home guards while retaining their roles as bus marshals, unless there are specific complaints against any individual.
It’s worth noting that despite orders from Revenue Minister Atishi on September 3 to release the salaries of civil defense volunteers and bus marshals within a week, their salaries remain unpaid. This issue has arisen following the introduction of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act 2023, and the lack of payment has created financial hardships for these volunteers, with no salaries received since April of this year.
The Bus Marshals scheme was introduced in 2015 to enhance the safety of women on public buses in Delhi. Civil defense volunteers and home guards, known as Bus Marshals, are assigned to DTC and cluster buses, recruited by the Department of Revenue and the Directorate General of Home Guards , respectively.