STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Expressing grave concern over the dilly dally approach in regularization coupled with inordinate delays in payment of wages of DRWs, Casuals, Need based and other categories of temporary employees of PHE, PDD, I&FC, PWD, Tourism etc and the resultant hardships faced by them and their families, Harsh Dev Singh, JKNPP Chairman and former Minister, made a passionate appeal on their behalf to the Lt Governor to intervene personally to address their most legitimate concerns.
He was addressing a delegation of casual, need based workers who had called on him in Ramnagar during his two days tour of the area.
Launching a scathing attack on the govt for its criminal apathy and indifference towards the genuine concerns of such hard-to-mouth daily rated workers, Singh said that it had made the most contemptuous mockery of the slogans of “Welfare State” so prominently enshrined in the constitution of India.
He said that timely payment of wages and salaries was not only a fundamental duty of the state but had been repeatedly acknowledged as a fundamental and basic right of a govt employee.
He regretted that the Daily wagers of several Deptts especially PHE and I&FC had been deprived of their wages for months together resulting in untold miseries and starvation to their families.
While the salaries and all allowances of all officers and bureaucrats were never delayed even by a single day, the non-payment of wages to poor labourers was not a lapse but a sin for which the govt and its functionaries were answerable before men and God.
He further castigated the authorities concerned for terminating hundreds of DRWs and casual workers of PHE in District Udhampur during the past 2-3 years. Singh asserted that if funds were available for luxuries and comforts of helmsmen, officers and bureaucrats, the excuse of empty coffers for poor DRWs was ridiculous and hypocritical. He said that even the Supreme Court had acknowledged the rights of contractual employees and only recently had directed the Punjab Govt to pay salary and allowances to Daily wager/temporary workers, Pump-operators, Fitters, Helpers, Drivers, Plumbers, Chowkidars and others on par with regular staff going by the principle of “equal pay for equal work.
Harsh further called upon the Lt Governor to review the honorarium of SPOs besides Anganwari and Asha workers who were made to work on negligible wages despite being whole time govt employees.
He said that the Lt Governor was the only ray of hope for such marginalized and aggrieved temporary employees of the state.