The ongoing strike by government employees entered second month paralysing the working of government offices across the state.
The 60,000-strong body of government servants are on strike for the past 40 days demanding the implementation of the Sixth pay Commission recommendations of higher wages and perks.
The strike has also affected the common man with the health services also coming to a screeching halt after health department workers also joind the stir.
As a result functioning of almost all the Out Patient Departments (OPDs) of the state and district level health centres was affected. The state-run JN Hospital in Imphal too was not functioning affecting the patients.
Further trouble is in store with employees working with essential services such as electricity and water supply departments announcing their intention to join the stir for higher wages.
“Employees of state secretariat and essential services such as electricity and water supply are also expected to join our strike from March 26,” Ch Chandramani,General Secretary of the Joint Administrative Council (JAC) of All Manipur Trade Union Council (AMTUC) and All Manipur Government Employees Organisation (AMGEO) told Hindustan Times on telephone.
“We understand that the move will inconvenience the general public, but the state government is responsible for it,” L Priyobartta, publicity secretary of the JAC added.
Denouncing the adamant silence of the government, he said if the government does not still responded then the employees of these hospitals will cease all work from March 2.
How can we compete with the central government employees who enjoy 6th pay commission benefits that include allowance for their children's education, said an employee of the state information office.
Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh is yet to respond to the demand and has been pleading with the employees not to press the matter at a crucial juncture when the state plan was being formulated.
The state would need funds to the tune of Rs 2000 crore to pay the higher wages and arrears and another Rs 1050 crore to pay salaries. Pensions would cost the state government another Rs 250 crore per annum, he said.
It is not just the common people who are inconvenienced by the strike. The employees have also not received their salaries for the month of January.
The strike at the moment appears to be a long drawn one, as the government has not expressed any willingness to give into the employees demands.
A meeting of the striking employees had with the chief secretary DS Poonia recently failed to make any headway, sources said.