Govt discontinues project of training auto drivers before CWG

Govt discontinues project of training auto drivers before CWG

New Delhi: The Tourism Ministry’s ambitious project to give mannerism training to auto drivers ahead of Commonwealth Games has been discontinued after covering just 10% of them.

The project aimed at covering 8,000 auto drivers in the national capital has been “temporarily" discontinued since January this year. No reason has been assigned for the move.

Replying to a Right to Information application, Delhi Institute of Hotel Management, one of the institutes which tourism department had entrusted to provide training, said, the programme has been temporarily discontinued.

It said the last batch of auto drivers was trained between 4-6 January 2010.

The government has spent about Rs51 lakh in training 835 drivers. Under the scheme, Haryana Institute of Public Administration was given umbrella role to design the course and impart training through three Institutes - Delhi Institute of Hotel Management (DIHM), Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) and Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).

The course was planned by Union Tourism Ministry in September 2009 under which 8,000 auto drivers were to be trained in spoken English, personality development, stress management, road safety, Commonwealth Games and Yoga among others.

Different ministries and civic agencies like Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council and Delhi Police had to be roped in for the training.

Delhi has an estimated 55,000 auto drivers.

The training was to be conducted in batches of 40 persons each and scheduled to be concluded just before the commencement of the Games on 3 October.

Shreshtha Vashisht had filed an RTI application asking Tourism Ministry the details of the programme. The application was then forwarded to IIPA, ITDC and DIHM for their responses.

A highest of 385 were provided training at IIPA at a total cost of about Rs40 lakh, the reply said.

ITDC imparted training to 193 of them in eight batches between 26 October 2009 and 18 January 2010 at the total cost of Rs4.34 lakh.

A total of 257 auto drivers were trained in nine batches between 26 October 2009 and 6 January 2010 by DIHM at the total cost of Rs5.43 lakh, the reply said.

“The last batch conducted by HIPA at IIPA, New Delhi was from 18-20 January 2010," the reply by HIPA read.

The Ministry of Tourism has released about Rs51.50 lakh to the three institutes for conducting the programme. Under the module, a payment of Rs200 per trainee per day was also provided to offset the wage losses.