The transport department had advertised for 7000 posts for drivers in ST, for which it had reserved 33 per cent for women.
Mumbai: For the first time in India, the transport department is going to recruit women drivers to ply state transport (ST) buses across Maharashtra.
The department has received 450 applications from women. Keen to recruit most of them, the minister said that they would be given two chances to pass the exam unlike the male candidates. The transport department had advertised for 7000 posts for drivers in ST, for which it had reserved 33 per cent for women.
“I was very keen that women take up this job. Many people did not agree with me, but we have received a good response from women. I am confident that they would be able to pass the exam. This is the first time that state transport buses in the country will have women drivers. We have women conductors but not drivers,” Mr Raote said. Even Mumbai’s BEST bus services do not have women drivers.
But there are certain criteria that the candidates will have to fulfil before they get selected for the post.
One of them calls for the candidate to have a minimum of three years experience of driving a heavy vehicle. Asked how the women would meet this criteria, the minister said some of them surely fulfil it. “Yes it is one of the criteria for the candidates. But they will also have to pass a driving test, which would be conducted, on simulators. That is a tougher criterion, and I will give two women two extra opportunities to clear the test. I don’t want women to left behind. As for the rest, ST will provide training after their selection,” Raote added.
Mumbai already has women taxi drivers and auto rickshaw drivers. There is a fleet of women taxi drivers in the city known as Priydarshani. The owner of the service, Sushiben Shah, has welcomed the move. “It is a welcome initiative by the government. They should equip the women with necessary training to drive a bus. The government should ensure that these women candidates are ready to be employed and fulfil the norms of the Motor Vehicle Act. It is a beginning I would say,” Shah said.