All work and no play could turn our babus into dull boys, and chief minister Mamata Banerjee isn’t taking any chances. The Maa, Mati, Manush government has managed to give its 10lakh-odd employees 10 days off during the pujas.
On Friday, the government declared October 26 a holiday, effectively sending its employees on vacation from October 20 to October 29, the day of Lakshmi Puja. State government offices will reopen on October 30.
“The calendar is such this year that employees would have anyway enjoyed a holiday from October 20 to October 29, with a break of just one day — October 26. The remainder were puja days, weekly holidays or IdUl Zoha, which falls on October 27. The government has simply declared a holiday on October 26, making it a 10day leave for all,” a senior official told HT.
“Central government employees aren’t as lucky as their state government counterparts. We still have to attend office on Nabami, Ekadasi and even on October 26. Our offices will remain open even on Lakshmi Puja,” Protim Banerjee, general secretary of the confederation of central government workers and employees, said.
Mamata’s generosity comes at a time when she has been working hard to improve the state’s work culture. Her government has refused to declare holidays during bandhs and has even docked pay from those who have failed to turn up for work on bandh days.
But her sudden bonanza has left a section of employees cribbing that the declaration has come too late. “We could’ve opted to go outstation had this been declared earlier. We won’t get tickets or hotel rooms because everything’s already been booked,” one complained.