Mumbai: Amid COVID crisis, those selected for metro jobs wait for months to be hired

About hundreds of selected candidates of 1,053 vacant non-executive posts related to metro operations say they have been waiting to be officially appointed since February this year. Some have even threatened to go on hunger strike at Maha Mumbai Metro Operation Corporation Limited (MMMOCL)’s office in Bandra if their appointments are not done by September.

Several candidates have taken to social media, appealing to MMRDA to expedite the process.

The recruitment process was managed by MMMOCL, a part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

A candidate, who did not wish to be named, said an advertisement was issued in July 2019, and exams were held in November and December 2019. Results were declared from December 11, and by February this year, document verification of candidates was completed.

"Since lockdown began on March 23, the recruitment process has completely stalled and there is no official word on our appointment since. Five months on, we are still waiting for our jobs,” he said.

Most candidates hail from rural parts of Maharashtra like Chandrapur and Jalgoan. Pointing out what securing these jobs would mean to them, some said their family members were poor farmers. Some said their parents had retired, and their families were dependent only on their pension.

A candidate claimed the appointments had been delayed for want of medical certificates. "The MMMOCL has been telling us that as hospitals are busy due to COVID-19, candidates’ medical examination couldn't be processed. If other government agencies like Mahavitran can complete hiring, why has this agency stopped the appointment process?”

She added, “Moreover, they have also issued a new advertisement to fill 110 vacant posts out of 1053. If they can start the recruitment process and conduct exams on August 28 for these 110 posts, why can’t they complete our appointments?”

The aggrieved candidates claimed that of 1,053 candidates, only 41 candidates were sent to Hyderabad for training and were hired in March.

When contacted, D K Sharma, Managing Director of MMMOCL said, "Due to COVID -19 pandemic and prolonged lockdown in Mumbai and the country, the pre-employment Medical examination by empanelled hospitals and mandatory initial training by Metro rail organisation in Hyderabad , Delhi and Bangalore was stopped and has not resumed yet. Therefore, it is taking longer than expected to call the candidates for joining. As and when these prerequisites are met, we will be calling the required candidates for joining ,depending on progress of the project and actual need , in a phased manner."

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