Traffic comes to halt as ministerial staff blocks Vardhman Chowk in Ludhiana | punjab$ludhiana | Hindustan Times
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Traffic comes to halt as ministerial staff blocks Vardhman Chowk in Ludhiana

Commuters were left stranded on Chandigarh Road as 15,000 members of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union (PSMSU) blocked Vardhman Chowk for an hour to protest against the Punjab government for not fulfilling their demands, on Friday.

punjab Updated: Nov 26, 2016 13:44 IST
HT Correspondent
Members of State Ministerial Services Union protesting at the GLADA ground on Chandigarh Road, Ludhiana, on Friday. The protest later shifted to Vardhman Chowk where they blocked traffic for an hour.
Members of State Ministerial Services Union protesting at the GLADA ground on Chandigarh Road, Ludhiana, on Friday. The protest later shifted to Vardhman Chowk where they blocked traffic for an hour. (JS Grewal/HT Photo)

Commuters were left stranded on Chandigarh Road as 15,000 members of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union (PSMSU) blocked Vardhman Chowk for an hour to protest against the Punjab government for not fulfilling their demands, on Friday.

The protest started at 11am in the GLADA ground and at 3pm the staff decided to block the Vardhman Chowk bringing traffic to a standstill. Consequently, police had to divert the route to help commuters reach their destinations.

“Why is the staff blocking Vardhman Chowk? If they have any problem with the government, they must protest outside the chief minister’s house,” said Simranpreet Kaur, a commuter stuck in the traffic jam.

Long traffic snarls on all connecting roads to Vardhman Chowk led to harassment of commuters. There was chaos at Samrala Chowk, Moti Nagar and the road leading to Sector-32 Chowk. Cops had a tough time controlling traffic, so they diverted it to inner roads through residential areas from the main chowks.

The ministerial staff of the education department and health department is on strike since November 9 which has adversely affected the work in every department.

The workers raised slogans against the government and blamed them for not fulfilling their demands.

Their main demands include the release of dearness allowance, implementation of old pension scheme applicable to employees recruited before 2004, better pay grade and release of arrears from 2004 onwards.

State president Nachhatar Singh Bhai Rupa said, “We stopped the protest after police assured us that deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat will arrange a meeting with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. If the meeting is not fixed by tomorrow, we will hold rallies at every district headquarters between noon and 2pm on December 5,” adding that they will hold a ‘maha’ rally in Phase 6 of SAS Nagar on December 11 if the government failed to fulfil their demands once again.

ETT TEACHERS ON STRIKE TO GET MEDICAL CERTIFICATES IN TWO DAYS, SAYS DPI

The protest by Elementary Teachers Training teachers entered day four on Friday. However, director, public instructions, (elementary)Pankaj Sharma has informed the district education officer, elementary, Balwinder Singh, that medical certificates will be issued to the teachers in the next two days and they will be able join government schools before November 30.

ETT teachers holding a protest outside the DC office in Ludhiana on Friday. (Gurminder Singh/HT Photo)

The DEO confirmed that we have informed the teachers that the DPI has spoken to the health secretary and the medical certificates will be issued to them.

On November 23, Sharma had extended the joining date of teachers from November 24 to November 30. Due to a strike by the ministerial staff of the health department, the civil surgeon has not been able to issue fitness certificates to the teachers. But she has given in written to the teachers that on November 23 , they can join as they are physically fit and the medical certificate will be issued after the ministerial staff strike ends.