Over 1000 contractual employees of suwidha centres in Punjab have decided to go on pen-down strike for three days, from September 7 to 10.
The employees have been protesting the state government’s decision to shift them to sewa kendras, which are being run by a private company. They are demanding that before transferring them, they should be regularised.
The citizens will have to bear the brunt due to the strike as the centres offer 43 services, including registration of birth and death, character certificate and copies of the RTI Act.
Harmeet Singh, president of the Punjab State Suwidha Employee’s Union, said, “We have urged the state government not to go forward with this decision but they have issued letters to all working employees of centres to join the kendras.”
Sewa kendras provide the same services as suwidha centres do, but at much local level. The government has hired a private company to run the newly built kendras in urban and rural areas to provide services at ‘doorstep’. To compensate for the shortage of staff and provide ‘hassle-free’ services, the government had asked the working employees to join the kendras.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Patiala Ramvir said the employees have to join kendras as an order has already been issued in this regard. If they don’t join it, regular staff will be asked to join them, he said. Patiala has 31 urban kendras and 389 across the state.