Govt officials, staff start indefinite stir

Officials and other staff members of the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Departments started an indefinite stir in town on Wednesday.

The protesters, including staff members of both departments, urged the government to stop pressurising them regarding the effective implementation of MGNREGS and Swacch Bharath Mission. The protest was organised in front of the Zilla Panchayat office in Chikkamagaluru.

The protestors urged the government to drop the stern actions being initiated against the department staff. They also warned of continuing the fight, till their demand is fulfilled.

“As per MGNREGS rules, the development works have to be undertaken as per the requirement of labourers. But, unscientific targets are being set these days. Moreover, explanations are sought from the officials and staff, under Karnataka Civil Services (Classification Control and Appeal) Rules, 1957. The allowances are being cut and the staff are being subject to investigations and suspensions,” said the officials and staff members. They alleged that the Rural Development Department Commissioner has been sending SMSs, containing targets, to all gram panchayats.

“Though there was no demand from labourers on November 21 and 22, the Commissioner has ordered to draw a list of 100 labourers (NMR) towards development works, in each gram panchayat. This is an illegal order,” they alleged.

Addressing protestors, Association president Nagraj said that the State has achieved good results in Swacch Bharat Mission. “In spite of this, the higher officials of the department have been harassing the employees. A memorandum has already been submitted in this regard, to the Panchayat Raj Department’s Principal Secretary. A warning was given by the association of staging indefinite stir if the demands are not fulfilled before December 7,” he said and added that the dharna is being stage as there is not positive response by the state government.

A memorandum was submitted to the department Principal Secretary, through the Zilla Panchayat chief executive officer. Association General Secretary Padmaraj, Vice President Mallikarjun, Treasurer Jagannath, State Association Representative Vishwanath, Taluk Association Presidents Suresh, Paramesh, Omkarappa, Nagabhushan, Pramod and Joseph were present among others.

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