The clerical staff at civil surgeon's office continued their strike for the sixth day on Monday, leaving the work of hundreds of visitors hanging fire.
Even as visitors started gathering at the counter of suvidha centre early in the morning, the employees on strike refused to budge and continued raising slogans against the state government.
People visiting the office for getting medical examinations done, or to get birth and death certificates were the worst hit.
Consequently, the agitated visitors met the civil surgeon to take action in this matter, but in vain.
While trying to pacify the visitors, civil surgeon Dr Subhash Batta claimed that he was doing his best to make employees return to work. “But I am helpless as the staff has the right to go on protest,” he said.
The visitors also requested the clerical staff to end their strike as they were facing inconvenience. But the clerical staff turned them to the officials.
A visitor, requesting anonymity, said, “I have to undergo a medical to get a job. I have been visiting the office since the last week, but have failed to get it done. I also approached the civil surgeon with other visitors. It is wrong to harass the public.”
Tarlochan Singh, a resident of Bhamipura, which is located around 50 km from Ludhiana, said, “I am continuously visiting the office with the hope that employees will return to work. But to no avail. I don't know what to do. I need a copy of birth certificate urgently.”
Suvidha centre employees meet civil surgeon
Meanwhile, suvidha centre employees also met the civil surgeon. They alleged that the clerical staff of the department were deterring them from working.
Gernail Singh, administrator at suvidha centre, mini-secretariat, said, “I, along with other employees, met the civil surgeon. We are not part of this strike. If we are not allowed to work here, we will take our computers to deputy commissioner's office to start work.”
The strike will continue: association president
When contacted, Sukhwinder Singh, president of Punjab Health Department Subordinate Offices Clerical Association, said they would continue the strike till their demands were fulfilled.
“I have sympathy with the visitors as they are facing inconvenience due to our strike. But it is our democratic right. We will put in our best efforts to complete the pending work after lifting the strike, but that depends upon higher authorities,” he added.
The association members are demanding better pay scales and recruitments of superintendents, stenographers, senior assistants and clerks. They are also demanding promotions for the old employees, including accountants, junior statistical assistants and others.