Protesting since September 30
More than 4,700 zila parishad cadre employees have been on a pen-down strike since September 30 demanding merger with the rural development or the panchayati raj department
The employees rued that they had been denied the due financial benefits in the absence of this merger. The strike has severally hit rain-relief works
More than 4,700 zila parishad cadre employees have been on a pen-down strike since September 30 demanding merger with the rural development or the panchayati raj department. The employees rued that they had been denied the due financial benefits in the absence of this merger.
In a letter to the Chief Executive Officer today, Solan ZP chief Ramesh Thakur said: "It was unfortunate that the state government has issued notice to the ZP employees to return to work on October 3 or face stern action. When they have not been designated as government employees, on what basis the government has issued them a notice?"
He urged the CEO not to issue any such notice against the striking employees as the protest was their democratic right. "Since these employees have been providing services since the last about 25 years, their demand for merger was justified."
"We have been designated as ZP cadre employees. This was despite the fact that they were drawing their salaries from the state government for several years. Though they were granted the state cadre about a month ago, but this has failed to provide them any succor," rued Rajesh Thakur, state president of the ZP employees association.
The strike has severally hit rain-relief works. A special reconstruction and rehabilitation package of Rs 4,500 was announced by the Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu for the 1,600 rain-affected families on September 30.
Absence of employees in the panchayats has crippled the working of the panchayats where works like issuance of certificates to the rain-affected families to enable them to avail the benefits of the package has been hit. Works under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, too, has been hit with the strike.
Though the charge of panchayat secretaries has been temporarily handed over to gram rozgar sevaks, sewing teachers and panchayat chowkidars, who have been given financial powers to operate by the state government, but pending work was yet to catch pace.
The employees rued that the former BJP government had failed to address their genuine demand. Though the Congress had promised to accept their demand while it was in the Opposition, but now in power, the government was shying away from accepting the demand and asking them to join work on the pretext of executing the rain-affected work