Starvation and lack of treatment has claimed the life of two regular employees of Jharkhand’s 103 year old civic body Mineral Area Development Authority (MADA). They had not been paid salary for 35 months.Security staff Prem Bahadur Thapa (57) and sanitation wing employee Shrish Gurung (58) succumbed to poverty triggered by non-payment of salary. Both of them were posted at MADA headquarters and coincidently both of them died within the span of one hour on Thursday evening. Members of both the victims families charged that despite repeated reminders for last one month, the management did not release arrear of salary payment so that they could be treated. “ Father was already under debt so we could not borrow money again “,said Raman Thapa , son of Prem Bahadur Thapa. The employees’ association had on February 2 served a notice to the management for payment of salary but to no avail. MADA managing director (MD) Shashidhar Mandal gave Rs 10,000 to each family for the last rites and announced payment of arrears of five months salary to them. “The financial condition of MADA is not good. The salary size is more than the monthly income of the organization. That is why employees are not paid regularly”, he said.Meanwhile, the death of the two employees has triggered a massive protest from employees body, Pradhikar Karmchari Sangh, the frontal organization of MADA employees. It decided to knock the doors of the Ranchi high court as well as the Human Rights Commission for justice. MADA was established in 1914 by the British to manage drinking water supply and sanitation requirements of collieries area. It has 1150 staff, who have not been paid their salary for 35 months.“ In lthe ast three years , denial of salary has impacted education of children and their marriages , while several employees have died due to lack of treatment, while many have committed suicide due to debt”, said Prem Tiwary, general secretary of the Sangh.The employees body also held the state government responsible for the poor financial condition of MADA. The government has been sitting on a proposal for water tax enhancement passed by the cabinet in 2011. Had that been done, MADA would have had enough to pay its employees”, Tiwary added.