Showing posts with label Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. Show all posts

Plight of Indian Gorkhas - have to decide what they really want?

11:12 AM
The Indian Gorkhas have to decide now as to what they really want and where they want to go from here.

While India vies for a global position, various communities in the country are reasserting their roles and striving to get maximum mileage from the country’s global entry. Many of them have already devoured the political and development pie. Every community wants to be a player and a difference maker. The game is on. Meanwhile, more than 10 million Indian Gorkhas find themselves at the crossroads.

The Indian Gorkhas have to decide now as to what they really want and where they want to go from here. Should they go with the rest of India to compete at the regional, national and global levels? Should they reorient their community thinking, redesign their societal approaches and restructure their collective action? Should the younger generation ‘re-focus’ on education that will make them professionally competitive?
Plight of Indian Gorkhas - have to decide what they really want?
Can they afford to cling on to their Khukuris and be driven by emotions, while they have the capability to be an example of ‘knowledge generation’? They could use the same blood, sweat and tears to re-identify and re-position themselves as the gyan-vir (literally, knowledge brave) and acquire national leadership. They have done it in the past at an individual level and now they have to do it collectively as this path provides an entry into the club of a national entity.

All the flaws
The Indian Gorkhas are known for integrity, courage, resilience and perseverance. They have a rich culture, tradition and unwritten intellectual heritage. They have made immense contributions in almost all the fields of the nation-building process both in the pre- and post-independence period.

It is a historic folly on their part that nobody from them made an effort to deconstruct and reconstruct their history in independent India. Therefore, the historical narratives on them at the national level are biased or remain largely untold. Nobody wrote an exclusive history of the Gorkhas in India. —a shocking degree of intellectual-gap. This is where they failed. This is a major societal failure and a reflection of a self-centric political leadership.

The Indian Gorkhas have a distinct disadvantage in that they are scattered geographically all across the country. In terms of population, they are a minuscule lot. They are one of the least educated communities. Economically, they remain deeply downtrodden and have no national forum to champion their cause.

Their present political leaderships have been of sub-regional character with a myopic vision, which has failed them in every respect. They are ignorant to the core, marginalised by virtue of their background and acts, and highly self-centric. These leaders are seemingly full of emotions, hollow promises and dangerous instincts of self-survival. And, they do not count at the national level at all; they have merely become local lords.

As a result, the national image and power of the Indian Gorkhas have steadily eroded and been widely stigmatised. It has jeopardised the very future of the next generation. Some of them, like in Sikkim, have done irreparable damage by dangerously dividing the Gorkhas into different castes and religious entities. And the Bengal administration has only replicated this model in Darjeeling by creating ‘development boards’ based on caste and creed. This is the least expensive approach to kill the demand for a separate state. History will never forgive this retrogressive policy of these leaders.

Change in discourse
For a new future for the Indian Gorkhas, their steady entry into the policy and decision-making processes and institutions of the country is essential. Many of them have done it in the past in education, national security, sports, media, music, corporate institutions, literature and even politics. This is how a small district like Darjeeling produced 5-8 Olympic players, possibly a record in the country. However, as opposed to the trickle in the past, they have to join the India’s up-and-coming generation in hordes.

They should no longer overplay their weakest conventional excuse of “hepyo, chhutayo, atyachar garyo, apthyaro lagyo” (looked down upon, discriminated, persecuted, felt embarrassed). They cannot rise and fight with the spirit of someone vanquished. They cannot play outside the field and lament about discrimination to the referees of the game, the public. This amounts to using the weakest weapon against strong opponents.

Relatively successful Indian Gorkhas are emphatic: “If we are weak in knowledge and arguments, and shy away from competition, the story of discrimination becomes more about manko bagh (tiger within oneself) rather than banko bagh (tiger in the jungle).” India is a nation of innumerable communities, unparalleled geographies and diverse development stages along with a plethora of scattered democratic institutions. Thus, the Indian Gorkhas are left with only two choices: either to fall into the crevice or climb the mountain.

An example of poor choice is the discontinuation and refusal of ‘constitutionally provided’ Panchayati Raj institutions in Darjeeling since 1991 and the wilful acceptance of non-performing, capricious and cantankerous Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (1988-2007) and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (2012), which was provided through a ‘gazette notification’ by a very hesitant and cunning state of West Bengal.

Rights under Panchayat Raj are constitutionally given to the people everywhere in India. Here the Indian Gorkhas sacrificed the Constitution of India for a mere gazette notification with hugely deleterious implications. What can be more paralysing and unfortunate that this?

However, they made a rational choice when they nationally fought for the recognition of the Nepali language in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India in 1992. All India Nepali Bhasha Samity, Bharatiya Nepali Rastriya Parishad and many other institutions and individuals across India deserve kudos for this.

Playing the game
The scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and the other backward classes among the Indian Gorkhas have a distinct place and recognition in the constitution of India like others belonging to the same categories across the country. Yet, why do others succeed in becoming IAS/IFS officers in hordes and but the Indian Gorkhas hardly figure in the higher echelons of bureaucracy, governance and other national institutions? This is a tragedy that has been perennially repeated. Where is the discrimination? It is an open competition for all.

We see this so blatantly and remarkably when we sit in the Interview Board of the Union Public Service Commission to select government officers. The children from the hills are actually equally bright, quick, multi-cultural in thinking and have untapped competitive instincts. Yet they are nowhere in the competition. Who will tell the inspiring words of “timile garnu sakchhou” (You can do it!) to the young Gorkha children? Who will inject confidence and courage in them? Their confidence should be built better from the societal level.

The Indian Gorkhas have to rebuild modern institutions and revive the traditional ones that keep them united and vibrant. This is what we did while setting up and building a central university in Sikkim—an institution with a global perspective, national orientation and strong local ethos. The hope lies in the resurrection and active role of Gorkha youths to come together from across the nation and question their incompetent leaders. This requires a renegotiation within the pan-Indian Gorkha community, with a focus on the larger issues of aspirations of the youths and emerging national and global opportunities for them.


Via thestatesman

Roshan Giri writes to state education minister to regularise the voluntary teachers

2:21 PM
DARJEELING 29 Jun 2016 GTA Sabhasad and education department executive Roshan Giri has written to state education minister Partha Chatterjee reminding him about his assurance to regularise the voluntary teachers engaged on temporary basis since several years in various schools of the hills.

Around 515 voluntary teachers under the aegis of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-affiliated Janmukti Insecure Secondary Teachers' Organisation (JISTO) who are demanding permanent status have even  threatened to quit the organisation if the party leadership failed to find a solution to their case. The Sabhasad has brought to the notice of the minister the assurance given by him during a meeting in Kolkata in December 2015 to regularise all voluntary teachers. “A GTA and JISTO delegation had met minister Chatterjee in Kolkata last year. Chatterjee had then assured them to form an ad-hoc board to appoint the 515 voluntary teachers based on their eligibility and register of appointment. At that time the minister had also said the appointment would be confined only to the 515 voluntary teachers,” Giri said.
Roshan Giri
Roshan Giri 
On the contrary, on May 20 of this year, the joint secretary of the state school education department wrote to the home and hill affairs department informing him that regularisation, absorption and appointment of voluntary teachers in the GTA could not be entertained until they secure their candidature through the West Bengal School Service Commission. “We want the voluntary teachers to be regularised but it is the state government that is creating obstacles. There is lot of resentment among the voluntary teachers who have given their prime time. The growing frustration can lead to bigger problems in the future and anything can happen,” warned Giri.

There are presently 515 teachers in more than 129 junior, high and higher secondary schools in the GTA area working on voluntary basis. However, these teachers have not been able to appear or  take their SSC examination as it has become defunct since 2003 during the tenure of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.

Giri, who is also the GJM general secretary, said that Basudeb Banerjee, the then state home secretary, said in a meeting in 2014 that a decision had been taken to enhance the salary of the voluntary teachers but this is yet to be implemented. He said the party has also written to state panchayat and rural development minister Subrata Mukherjee, requesting him to fill vacant posts in the Sishu Siksha  Kendra (SSK) and Madhyamik Siksha Kendra (MSK). “In the 539 SSKs in the hills there are 1,060 vacancies, while in 67 MSKs 63 posts are available. But nothing has been done to fill the posts.

We have also requested the minister to establish a separate accounts section of the SSK and MSK in the hills,” Giri said.

(EOIC)


JAKS Intensifies agitation, will close GTA offices from June 20

10:33 AM
DARJEELING 17 Jun 2016 Intensifying its ongoing agitation, the Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS) today announced it would enforce the closure of the engineering cells of the various offices of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration from Monday till a solution to its demand for increasing the salary of Group A and B employees is arrived at.

Engineers, doctors, managers and curators, who fall under Groups A and B of the GTA, have begun an indefinite cease-work from June 13. Their demand is enhancement of salary as per an order issued in February 2016 by the finance department of the state government.

“We started the agitation on June 13 and will intensify it in phases. We have decided to close all the engineering cells of the GTA from Monday to press our demand. We know our decision could create problems for the general public and feel sorry, but we request everyone to support the agitation,” said Deepak Sharma, the JAKS spokesperson.
Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS) at Lal Kothi

At the same time, Sharma said the present deadlock had eased a bit as the GTA had initiated dialogues with them. The GTA principal secretary and secretary, the deputy chief executive and Sabhasads held a meeting in the afternoon with JAKS representatives at Lal Kothi to discuss the issue. It was decided that the principal secretary would hold talks with the state government and a GTA delegation would leave for Kolkata soon.

“The deadlock has been broken and talks have started. However, we will continue our agitation of assembling outside Lal Kothi and close the engineering cells. We will also head to Kolkata as part of the GTA delegation for talks with the state government,” Sharma said.

The JAKS agitation reached its fifth day today with 147 engineers, 120 school teachers, eight doctors, two managers and one curator ceasing work. The other demand the JAKS is spearheading is the regularisation of 5,321 workers of the GTA who were originally on contractual basis with the now-defunct Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.

EOIC


Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan confines GTA officials to their chambers at Lal Kothi

DARJEELING 15 Jun 2016 Members of the Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS), an umbrella organisation of casual workers, today confined the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration chief principal secretary and a sabhasad to their chambers at Lal Kothi pressing for enhanced incentives.

More than 200 Group A and B employees comprising doctors, engineers, managers and curators of the GTA under the aegis of JAKS are on an indefinite cease-work agitation since June 13.

They have been assembling every morning before the main gate at Lal Kothi, but refuse to do any work.

Today, the agitators reached Lal Kothi around ten in the morning and headed straight into the administrative building. GTA chief principal secretary Ravinder Singh, secretary Don Bosco Lepcha   and Sabhasad Binay Tamang were in their chambers. Executive directors and executive engineers of the GTA had gathered inside for a meeting with the chief principal secretary.
Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS) file photo
The officials were all taken aback when informed about the gherao by the JAKS, who by then had blocked their chambers. Visitors were also not allowed to enter the Lal Kothi building.

“It is part of our agitation to press for our demand. We confined the officials to their chambers from morning till evening. We will intensify our agitation and even stop all work of the GTA in the coming days,” warned Deepak Sharma, the JAKS spokesperson.

The officials were confined to their chambers till four in the evening and allowed to leave office only afterwards. The GTA chief principal secretary did not want to talk to the press but the Tamang said,

“The chief principal secretary should initiate dialogues with the agitators. There are several development projects on the pipeline and if the agitation continues, it can be a hindrance. One must also note that the monsoon has started in the hills and there are every chances of calamities occurring."

In February, the state finance department issued Order No.1107-F (P) dated February 25, 2016 to revise the benefits and salary of the GTA contractual workers. The order also stated that it had been  decided to enhance the remuneration by 3 per cent every year. Group C and D workers started getting their enhanced pay from April. However, the JAKS’s contention is that although Group A and B employees, presently receiving Rs13,500 to Rs21,000, are also mentioned in the state government order, they have been kept out of the enhanced pay structure.

There are 5,321 workers employed in the various departments of the GTA, who, initially, worked under the erstwhile Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) on contractual appointment for meager payments.


(EOIC)


GTA Casual workers threaten agitation over regularization issue

12:48 PM
Darjeeling 12 May 2016 Casual workers employed in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) today threatened to start an agitation next month to pursue their long-pending demand for regularization.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-affiliated Janmukti Asthai Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS), today held a ‘pratanidhi sabha’ or a representatives’ meeting and passed a resolution to take up the regularisation issue as also to demand a raise to their salary once the Assembly results are out.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, JAKS general secretary Kishan Gurung said, “We have waited a long time on year after year of government assurances, but nothing concrete has materialised. Our members are frustrated now. We have given the state government a deadline till June of this year to address our demand; otherwise we will take to the streets.”

Today’s meeting was attended by representatives of 42 units, from Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, Mirik, Bijanbari and Tukdah. The GTA presently employs 5,300 workers on temporary basis. These workers were earlier employed under the now-defunct Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council on meagre remunerations.
GTA Casual workers threaten agitation over regularization issue
Deepak Sharma and Kisan Gurung - spokesman for the Jamukti Asthai Karmachari Sangathan - a file photo
After a series of agitations between 2008 and 2011, the then state government had assured to employ 2,372 workers on permanent basis, but that promise has failed to see the light of day. “We will write to the new government about our demand and the resolution we passed today,” Gurung said.

The GJM too, has taken up the regularisation issue in many rounds of bipartite and tripartite talks with the state and central governments as the matter finds mention in the GTA agreement and act.

Further, the JAKS wants the state government to include in practicality the group A and B employees under the enhanced pay structure. Presently, the state government has implemented a pay-band structure with a ceiling for the casual workers. In March this year, the state government enhanced the salary of the workers, but only group C and D workers have benefited. “Only C and D group workers’ salaries have increased and not of the A and B grades even though they are included under the enhanced pay structure as per the state government order,” pointed out Machendra Subba, the JAKS president.

After the enhancement, group C and D workers are getting Rs 22,500 and Rs12,000, respectively per month. Prior to that, the amounts were Rs 8,500 and Rs 6,500, respectively. Meantime, engineers, doctors, high school teachers and managers, who come under the A and B groups, get paid anywhere between Rs 13,500 and Rs 26,000.

Another resolution the casual workers discussed and passed was on the interference in the independent functioning of the GTA. The JAKS has demanded changes in the GTA agreement and act to negate unnecessary meddling by the state government on issues already transferred to the GTA so as to ensure its autonomy in the true sense of the word.

(EOIC)


Darjeeling demanding Gorkhaland - Story of every election in West Bengal

6:34 PM
Why Gorkhaland is still a hot issue in Darjeeling when azadi from West Bengal is a non-starter

Delhi and Kolkata have both effectively shut the door on a separate hill state for the Nepali-speaking district.

It is the story of every election in West Bengal: Darjeeling demanding Gorkhaland, a separate hill state, partitioned from the plains of Bengal. And it is the same as it votes on Sunday in the West Bengal Assembly elections.

Political demands are always contested, but it is true that the Darjeeling region was never politically a part of Bengal in any form. It was annexed by the British Raj in 1850, taken from an exceedingly weak Sikkim, a princely state itself annexed by India in 1975. Bundled into the Bengal presidency by the British, Darjeeling has remained in Bengal even after 1947. This is even after the 1955 States Reorganisation Committee had successfully arranged Indian states according to language. Nepali-speaking Darjeeling district, therefore, is an incongruous part of Bangla-speaking West Bengal.
Darjeeling demanding Gorkhaland
Amar Singh Rai, the Darjeeling constituency candidate for the Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha is clear that the demand for Gorkhaland is based on ethnic identity. “We want a homeland for ourselves ­–­ for our own identity,” he said. “Although we are bona fide Indian citizens, we are still called ‘Nepali’. To get rid of the stigma we feel it’s essential that we have our own state.”

Popular demand
The Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha is the largest party in Darjeeling and it campaigns on almost a single-point agenda: the creation of a Gorkhaland state. The popularity of the Gorkhaland demand can be seen from the fact that in the 2011 Assembly elections, the GJM picked up 79% of all votes caste across the three constituencies in Darjeeling district. In Darjeeling town, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), widely seen as a Bengali party in the hills, received all of 3.5% of the votes cast.

Rai alleges that there is ethnic discrimination at play here, with the hills being ignored by the Kolkta's Bengali rulers. “Gorkhaland is a right of self-determination for us since West Bengal is oblivious to us,” Rai charged. “They don’t care about the tea industry or the rights of the tea garden workers.”

Support for Gorkhaland is starkly visible across Darjeeling town. Stores invariably list their address as “Gorkhaland” rather than the “West Bengal” it officially is.

Anup Chhetri sells winter wear in the busy Chowk Bazar area of Darjeeling town and is clear in his support for a new state. “We who live here need to decide what will happen with our land,” he argued. “How can people sitting in Kolkata or Delhi decide things about our home?”

Pie in the sky
In spite of this fervour, the Gorkhaland demand is now widely seen as a pipe dream. The demand has existed in some form or the other for a century now, culminating in a violent agitation in the 1980s led by the Gorkha National Liberation Front. The agitation led to the creation of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, a local government body to which the state government transferred some administrative powers. A 2007 agitation led by a new party and current incumbent, the Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha, led to the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, with its powers expanded vis-à-vis the earlier Hill Council.

The revenue from the tea and tourism industry, though, means that Kolkata is extremely reluctant to let go of Darjeeling completely. And while the final decision to create a new state rests with the Union government – and not West Bengal – given the tiny population of Darjeeling, no ruling party in Delhi would wish to antagonise Kolkata. The political trade-off in terms of support from Darjeeling is simply too small.

Cracks in Gorkhaland
Recognising this ground politics at play, critics of the all-or-nothing demand for Gorkhaland have also emerged. From the Kalimpong constituency, the Gorkhaland Janmukti Morcha is being opposed by Harka Bahadur Chettri, who broke away from the GJM in 2015, complaining that their voluble demand for Gorkhaland was simply a ploy to garner votes and one that was actually harming the development of the region.

This is not the only dissension at play. During her term as chief minister, Mamata Banerjee created multiple “development boards” aimed at specific minority ethnicities, other than the majority Gorkhas ­– a move that Amar Singh Rai angrily characterised as a “policy of divide and rule”. In the past five years, Kolkata has formed six boards for the Lepcha, Tamang, Rai, Sherpa, Bhutia and Mangar communities. Even the Trinamool candidate from Siliguri town, another Gorkha-Bengali contested space, is a Bhutia – India’s best-know footballer, Baichung Bhutia.

These ground realities mean that no matter the fervour on the ground and its use as a vote catcher, the creation of an actual Gorkha state seems quite unlikely.


Via scroll.in


Gorkhaland is only our Solution & “NOTA” is only our Option !

4:40 PM
Writes Gorkhas N Gorkhaland

No Candidate Deserves My Vote! 
No State No Vote ! 
Beware of Vote ! 
Vote is our Enemy ! 
Gorkhaland is only our Solution & “NOTA” is only our Option ! 

NOTA, (None of the Above) also known as "against all", is a ballot option in Indian electoral system, designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system.

On 27 September 2013, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the right to register a "NOTA" vote in elections should apply, and ordered the Election Commission to provide such a button in the electronic voting machines.

Even though NOTA are considered as invalid votes, however it is also counted and recorded as rejection of all, in the general election 2014 NOTA polled 1.1% of the votes which counted to over 6 million votes.

Why NOTA for Gorkhaland ?
The state and the name of Gorkhaland is quite necessary for entire settled Gorkhas in India for the sake of their clear and distinct Indian identity so as to distinguish themselves from people of Nepal. As we the Indian Gorkhas have always been look down as an emigrant / foreigners who have come from Nepal in search of their livelihood, permitted as per the Indo- Nepal treaty of 1950.

Moreover, the essence of Grokhaland is not only the development or the creation of statehood within the republic of India BUT to resolve the “Identity Crisis” of Indian Gorkhas by creating a separate state of Gorkhaland “OUT of West Bengal”. I may not be wrong, if I say the Grokha struggle of separation from Bengal is the longest ongoing struggle in the history of modern Indian, as it goes long back to 1907:

Historical chronology of Gorkha struggle in the State of West Bengal: 
1907 - The demand for a separate administrative set up for Gorkhas were submitted by the leaders of the Hill People to the British Government.

1929, the Hillmen's Association again raised the same demand before the Simon Commission.

1930, a joint petition was submitted by Hillmen's Association, Gorkha Officers Association and the Kurseong Gorkha Library to the Secretary of the State of India, Samuel Hoare for separation from the province of Bengal.

1941, the Hillmen's Association under the presidency of Rup Narayan Sinha urged the Secretary of State of India, Lord Pethick Lawrence, to exclude Darjeeling from the province of Bengal and make it a Chief Commissioners Province.

1952, ALGI under the presidency of N.B. Gurung met Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India in Kalimpong and submitted a memorandum demanding the separation from Bengal.

1980 – 1988, Subash Ghisingh demand for a “Separate State” named “Gorkhaland” the movement gained serious momentum with a violent agitation. The agitation ultimately led to the establishment of 1st semiautonomous body for Gorkhas in India in the year1988 called Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council and also forced the government to release the Gazette Notification on the citizenship Issue of Indian Gorkhas on 23rd August 1988 declaring all Indian Gorkhas to be the citizen of India.

2007, Bimal Gurung raised the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland once again but land up signed an agreement for the formation of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, a semiautonomous body, thus, replacing the DGHC in the Darjeeling hills.

Though it’s been more than 100 years we have been struggling to separate from the state of Bengal, however, we are still prisoned under the administrative set up of West Bengal. Through we firmly believe in the democracy of our nation BUT we should strongly voice out the suppressive, discriminatory, dissection attitude of Bengal, further Accepting the Legislative Assembly and the electorate process of Bengal also means Accepting, Welcoming and Glorifying the state Administration of West Bengal.

Therefore why not use the power of Right to Reject (NOTA) on the electronic voting machine so as to express our opinion constitutionally and show our solidarity towards the issue of Gorkhaland as we no longer intend to accept the imperialism of Bengal.

Hence, it is our duty as a responsible gorkha citizen to think, think thrice before we VOTE, and vote not just politically BUT wisely !

No state No Vote !
Beware of Vote !
Vote is our Enemy !
Gorkhaland is only our Solution & “NOTA” is only our Option !

GTA Casual workers welcome state govt’s salary increase order

9:46 PM

Darjeeling 29 Feb 2016 The casual workers of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration have welcomed the state government’s decision to increase their salary even as they said their long pending demand for regularisation should also be addressed ahead of the Assembly election. The state government’s finance department has issued Order No.1107-F (P) dated February 25, 2016 to revise the benefits and salary of the contractual workers. More than 5,000 workers in the GTA are working on contract basis and they have long been demanding for regularisation. The workers were initially inducted into the now-defunct Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) on contract basis and were paid meagre amounts as remuneration.

In 2007, workers under the aegis of the Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan (JAKS) started an agitation demanding permanent status.

In 2011, the state government came up with a formula and put the casual workers in a pay-band structure that included employees of the A and B categories as well. Accordingly, Grade C and D casual workers who had been receiving a monthly salary of Rs2,500 started getting between Rs7,000 and Rs8,500 from 2011. Now, the state government has proposed to increase the salary of the grade C and D workers to Rs20,000 and Rs22,000, respectively, provided the workers have been working for more than 20 years. This aside, the state government has also decided to enhance the remuneration by 3 per cent every year. Welcoming the order, JAKS spokesperson Deepak Sharma said today, “Our primary demand is and will remain regularisation. But we definitely welcome the state government’s decision to increase our salary because this was the need of the hour.” The JAKS had also filed a petition in the high court seeking regularisation and the appeal has been upheld. The state government was directed to start the process of regularisation but it is yet to be implemented. “We sought the court’s help and received a positive verdict. However, the regularisation process has not yet started and we fail to understand why despite the court’s directive. It appears the state government has some plan up its sleeves and the increase in salary is just a diversion,” Sharma said. At present, the GTA has 5,321 casual workers in its payroll with grade C and D employees comprising nearly 90 per cent of the workforce. The state government’s order mentions these workers, but there are no specifications for Grade A and B employees even though they are also included in the existing pay-band structure. “We want the state government to look into this aspect also as the Grade A and B workers are being left out of the increment. We feel that since there isn’t any A and B grade in Bengal, the state government may have overlooked this aspect with regard to the hills while making the revision,” the JAKS spokesperson said.

(EOIC)

 
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