Not paid salaries for four months, sewa kendra employees in Amritsar go on strike
There are 2,147 sewa kendras in the state providing nearly 67 services under the Right to Service (RTS) Act. There are around 7,000 employees in these kendras, who have not been given salaries for the past four months.punjab Updated: Dec 22, 2017 12:34 IST
Employees of 153 sewa kendras in the district, who have not got their salary for the past four months, went on a strike on Thursday, causing inconvenience to the people who had come to get their work done.
There are 2,147 sewa kendras in the state providing nearly 67 services under the Right to Service (RTS) Act. There are around 7,000 employees in these kendras, who have not been given salaries for the past four months.
It was a dream project of former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to set up sewa kendras in cities and villages to deliver door-to-door services to people. The previous SAD-BJP government had handed over the project to the BLS International Pvt Ltd.
Talking to HT, BLS International operational manager (Zone 1) Shaishav Sood said, “The state government has failed to release the funds. Payment of more than ₹150 crore is already pending with the government. How can we release the salaries if funds are not released?”
While staff of 153 sewa kendras in Amritsar struck work on Thursday, around 7,000 employees in state not getting salaries.
Simranjit Singh, a sewa kendra employee, said he has not received his salary for the past four months. “We are protesting, but to no avail. Now majority of employees are thinking of quitting their jobs. There are some employees, who don’t have enough money to even commute from their homes to the centres,” he said.
“The employees of other districts of the state have also been protesting because of non-release of salaries and have been on strike for the past few days,” he said.
“We don’t want to create problems for people visiting sewa kendras. But we are forced to do so as the government is not sensitive towards our plight,” said another employee.
Hardial Singh, who had come for his passport-related work at the district-level sewa kendra here, said, “Due to strike I was not able to get my work done. Many people like me are being harassed. It is the state government’s fault, which is not paying the salaries.”
A senior officer of the Amritsar administration refused to comment on the matter, saying the matter relates to the department of state governance reforms.
State governance reform director Parminderpal Singh could not be contacted, despite repeated phone calls by HT.