MGNREGA employees threaten stir

Director RDD says orders for leave already issued
Srinagar: Staff working under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA) on Wednesday threatened indefinite strike if their “genuine” demands were not met immediately.
Among others, they demand issuance of formal orders by concerned officers regarding leave, compensatory and border allowances in their favour as has been granted to their counterparts working in Poonch and Kishtwar districts of the state.
Shahnawaz Hussain, chairman MGNREGA Association told GNS that last year, Commissioner Secretary Rural Development Department vide an order (131-RD&PR of 2014 dated 26-3-2014) ordered that leave and other benefits including compensatory and border allowance as admissible to contractual employees under SRO-255 shall be admissible to contractual employees engaged under various schemes of RDD including MGNREGA, NBA etc.
“Despite that fact that more than year and a half has elapsed since the order was issues, no follow up action has been taken by concerned officers in this regard even as in two districts—Poonch and Kishtwar—the order has been complied with,” Hussain said and referred to separate orders by ADC Kishtwar (ACDK/2014/9830-40) and Poonch (ACDP19523-39) respectively.
“Both the orders call upon concerned Block Development Officers to implement the 26-3-2014 order by Commissioner Secretary in letter and spirit,” Hussain said, adding, “No such orders have been issued in Kashmir division so far.”
When contacted Director RDD said that the 26-3-2014 order has already been implemented and the contractual staff was getting all the benefits. 
“We have implemented the order in letter and spirit,” he said. However Hussain maintained that no such orders were issued.
He said that the concerned officers were not even implementing the orders by Minister Rural Development and Panchayat Raj.
“During a review meeting pertaining to Srinagar, Ganderbal and Budgam at SKICC Srinagar recently, the worthy minister announced that services of engineering staff working under MGNREGA should be utilized in all developmental schemes in the Rural Development Department. Earlier also, the minister made a similar announcement in Bandipora but no orders in this behalf have been issued so far,” he said, adding that while it was incumbent upon the officers to implement the announcement by the minister as per the protocol, yet no formal orders have been issued by Commissioner Secretary and Director RDD so far.
“Another issue pertains to the merger of MGNREGA engineering staff with engineering wing of the RDD but so far no guidelines have been issued in this regard,” he said, adding, “If our demands were not met immediately, we will be left with no other option but to launch agitation and go for indefinite  strike for fulfillment of our genuine demands.”

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