Srinagar: Daily rated workers engaged in Public Health Department (PHE) Kashmir Monday staged protest demonstrations here to press for their demands.
The protestors assembled under the banner of Kashmir PHE Joint Employees Association at PHE division Kothibagh here and raised pro-justice slogans.
The protestors demanded probe into alleged “irregularities” and also demanded release of their monthly wages.
Talking to media persons the chairman of the Association, Sajad Ahmed Parray, said that daily rated workers are being used as scapegoat.
He added that court and government orders are being floated to cover up shortcomings and failures.
“Attempts are being made to use the poor temporary employees as scapegoats to divert the attention of the people and the government to cover up failures in providing of drinking water to the consumers,” he said.
“We want to make it clear that we are the servants of the people and government and doing our job,” Parray said.
He said that the Union Government has sanctioned billions of rupees to the PHE department under various schemes to provide safe portable water to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Under one of the schemes Union Government provided Rs1000 crore and the work under the scheme has to be completed by March 2022. But till now, just few percent of work has been done,” he alleged.
He added that under another scheme Jal Jeevan Mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra, the Union Government has sanctioned Rs 4500 crore, adding, “But even 10 percent of work under the scheme has not been covered.”
He said that these two schemes are of utmost importance and would benefit lakhs of people in Kashmir “But despite government pumping crores of rupees for upgradation and enhancement of infrastructure for welfare of people, there is failure, ” Parray stated.
“Monthly wages of daily rated workers were withheld to force us to observe pen-down strikes. It was a strategy to tell government that work on schemes are slow because of the strike by daily rated workers,” said Sajad Parray.
Parray Said that PHE employees are working on ground and face public outrage and resentment due to “inefficiency and failures of the officer in question.”
The protestors demanded “impartial probe in irregularities of department” and release of their withheld wages.
They appealed Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta to pass necessary directions in this regard in the interest of justice.
“A high level commission of inquiry should be constituted to look into the financial and administrative irregularities in the PHE department, including conduct water-audit, so that the PHE department can be saved from destruction,” they added.