The indefinite strike by more than 300,000 government employees in Bihar, which entered its seventh day on Tuesday, has badly affected the functioning of government departments across the state.
Most of the government offices, particularly the treasury and registration departments, wore a deserted look as employees kept away.
The state employees went on indefinite strike on Wednesday, demanding implementation of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission in "letter and spirit" after failure of talks with Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who also holds the finance portfolio.
Functioning of the Patna Medical College and Hospital as well as the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital in Patna was virtually paralyzed.
Similarly, all the display galleries at the Patna Museum remained closed, disappointing hundreds of visitors and resulting in a huge loss of revenue.
The striking employees have ignored the state government's "no work no pay" warning. "We will not end our strike unless our demands are accepted by the government," said Manjul Kumar Das, general secretary of the Bihar State Non Gazetted Employees Federation (BSNGEF).
Das claimed that functioning of the government, from the block to the secretariat level, had come to a standstill due to the strike. "There is total strike. Only five per cent of the pro government employees are attending work," he said.
The employees are seeking payment of arrears according to the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations from Jan 1, 2006, and have termed as "unacceptable" the government's proposal to pay the arrears with effect from April 1, 2007.
However, the Bihar High School Teachers Association and Bihar Inspector Supervisor Association are among some employees' associations that have not joined the strike.