Gorkhatimes

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Govt to start filling up DGHC vacancies – ‘Scientific’ study to determine number of extra posts OUR BUREAU

Posted by Ramesh Khati on September 23, 2009

A procession taken out by Morcha supporters in Darjeeling on Tuesday, demanding permanent job status for DGHC casual employees.

A procession taken out by Morcha supporters in Darjeeling on Tuesday, demanding permanent job status for DGHC casual employees.

Sept. 22(The Telegraph): The state government has decided to start filling up the 3,000-odd vacant posts in the DGHC, simultaneously conducting a “scientific review’’ to find out how many additional posts can be created to regularise the contract staff working there.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leadership represented by Roshan Giri and Amar Lama and Janmukti Asthai Karmachari Sangatan led by Machendra Subba today met state home secretary Ardhendu Sen in Calcutta and pressed for regularisation of the nearly 6,300 casual workers of the hill council.

After the meeting in Writers’ Buildings, the home secretary said: “Today, we told the Morcha leaders that the government had decided in principle to fill up sanctioned vacant posts in the hill council that could be around 3,000. There are nearly 6300 contract staff in the DGHC. In order to find out whether all of them can be regularised, we will conduct a scientific review as it is necessary to know how much of work, and of what nature, is pending there. Before the review, we can’t say how many additional posts can be created for contract workers after filling up the vacancies in the sanctioned posts.”

The contract workers on instructions of the Morcha had started an indefinite hunger strike in the hills from September 14, demanding permanent job status. Three days later, the government announced its decision to absorb at least 3,472 of the 6,300 workers, prompting the protesters to end their fast.

Sen said he had assured the Morcha leadership that the process of filling up the vacant sanctioned posts would be expedited but no specific time frame had been decided on for doing this.

“There’s no specific time limit but we have told the Morcha that sanctioned vacancies will be filled up as fast as possible. We will also expedite the review for creation of additional posts,’’ he said.

Asked whether the government would be setting a precedent by regularising contract workers, Sen said: “This has been happening in several departments, government undertakings and municipalities.”

However, Giri today insisted that the government had made a commitment to absorb all the casual staff.

“We are not backtracking from our demand that all the contract staff be regularised. In fact, the government has given us the assurance that every contract worker will be regularised and has told the Darjeeling district magistrate the same thing. The government is preparing certain guidelines for the absorption (of the contract staff),” Giri said.

Amar Lama echoed Giri while speaking to The Telegraph: “The government has agreed to create additional posts to regularise the services of all contract workers by November 15. Many departments like parks and gardens have been made part of the DGHC and creation of additional posts is not a problem.

“The state government had asked for 10 days’ time to issue new guidelines but on our insistence agreed to prepare it by tomorrow. Regularisation will start after the pujas.”

Technically, the government is bound to issue fresh guidelines as there is no provision in the DGHC rules that allow regularisation of contract workers.

“We found out that two assistant engineers of the DGHC had been regularised in 2005 through a government order. We quoted the order and the government could say little,” said Lama.


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