Government’s apathy


There are about 33,000 daily wagers working in PHE Department for last over two decades and Government till date has failed to regularise them despite the fact that from time to time the Government had framed policies for regularisation of temporary employees working in its various departments. Earlier a criteria was framed by the Government that the temporary employees as well as daily wagers working in various Government departments will be regularized after seven years of their regular service but this formula too was not applied to these hapless workers who are the main pillars of the Department.Fed up with Government's apathy which seems is totally unconcerned towards their plight, thousands of agitating Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department daily wagers in the State are left with no option but to intensify their ongoing agitation to seek justice for themselves. Thousands of daily wagers in the Department, who see their future bleak, have hit the streets throughout the State since September last year demanding their regularization and release of pending wages of last five years. Despite being the backbone of the Department it seems that the Government is not concerned for these hapless workers as it has failed to take drastic steps in dispensation of justice to them. Left with no alternative, this attitude of the Government has forced them to intensify the agitation now.
The previous BJP -PDP coalition led by Mehbooba Mufti had also decided to regularize these daily wagers working in various departments whose number at that time was stated to be about 60,000. But after scrutiny it was stated that the number of such daily wagers is about one lakh. Out of them there are 33,000 daily wagers in PHE Department alone which comes under essential services also. In 2017 announced regularisation of daily wagers under SRO 520 and sought the report from all Heads of Departments urging them to furnish the names of the daily wagers with treasury vouchers of wages drawn by them and their service record etc. However, over the passage of one and a half year now no headway has been made in this regard by the Government. Not to speak of regularization, these hapless employees have not been paid their wages for last five years with the result majority of them are at the verge of starvation.
These daily wagers have launched agitation since September 7 last year for justice holding protest demonstration at district headquarters all over the State. The problem has taken the ugly turn with the issuance of recent order by the District Development Commissioner Jammu, asking the officers of the concerned departments to take action against the agitating daily wagers and ensure that they remain present during their duty hours as public work has suffered due to their agitation in Government offices.

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