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Contract job plan in transport sector

Calcutta, Feb. 10: The Mamata Banerjee government will recruit around 3,000 drivers, conductors and mechanics on contract, a move billed as the biggest such drive in the transport department in recent times.

The government’s decision is expected to be announced at the cabinet meeting Mamata will hold at Uttarkanya in Siliguri tomorrow.

Senior officials of the transport department said the decision was aimed at filling the staff shortage in three of its five undertakings, which would collectively run over 800 new JNNURM buses across the state.

Trinamul insiders said such a massive recruitment drive would boost the party’s prospects in the Lok Sabha polls.

“The recruitments would be made in three transport undertakings — South Bengal State Transport Corporation, North Bengal State Transport Corporation and Calcutta State Transport Corporation,” said a senior transport official. “The finance department has cleared in principle the drive and the new recruits would be hired in ‘group C’ category. This would be the biggest such drive in recent memory.”

According to the recruitment plan, the drivers and conductors would be selected on the basis of educational qualifications and physical tests. The contract would be for three years and each would be paid a consolidated amount of around Rs 8,500, subject to periodic reviews.

“Some mechanics would be also recruited since NBSTC usually run long-distance buses that require regular maintenance,” an official said.

Transport is not the only sector where the Bengal government would engage workers on a contractual basis. Around 3,500 secondary teachers are working on contract while 1,800-odd youths have been recruited in the same manner as “green police volunteers” by Calcutta Police.

The state health and family welfare department, too, has recruited nursing staff and doctors on contract.

There are around 22,000 employees in the five state-owned transport corporations.