Tura, Nov 5: The Non Gazetted Employees Association of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) today called for an indefinite strike at work on the demand of their dues being cleared before the Christmas season.
GHADC has been an epitome of financial mismanagement leading to the current crisis – one in which the previous Congress led government as well as the current one is equally responsible. Council finances allegedly disappear even before they appear leading to many disgruntled employees questioning the madness.
The NGEA announced an indefinite non cooperation beginning Monday, Nov 12 after a meeting held between the association members today. This comes after continued attempts to seek a resolution to their salary woes. The members expressed anger and resentment against the council authorities for pushing them to such difficulty and hardship over the past 3 years.
“We are angry and sad after facing such immense hardships. We aren’t even able to pay for our children’s school fees and put food on the table for no fault of ours. Many of us had to beg and borrow just to survive,” said some of the association members during the meeting.
The NGEA has demanded the GHADC authorities to clear all their pending dues prior to Christmas with the strikers stating that they would not call of the strike until concrete assurances were given.
The financial situation of the GHADC has been the talking point in Garo Hills over the years due to the unbridled cases of corruption that have gone unpunished. Most of the MDCs as well as senior officers have allegedly been at the forefront of the corruption. According to sources, the GHADC coffers are almost empty with even centre’s SPA funds cleared without work even being started, forget about completion.
The situation has been exacerbated by eager MDCs pushing through appointments even when there was no scope for further additions. The illegal appointments have worsened the already worse situation.
Interestingly one of the MDCs (on the condition of anonymity) of the current dispensation stated that employee counts came down by over 700 when a head count was done. While GHADC earlier boasted of a headcount of 2300, the number came down to almost 16-1700 after a headcount. Biometric could lower the numbers even further, the MDC added.
The guilty parties in the above headcount inflation however may never be booked.
Further with the GHADC preferring to clear supplier and contractor bills on priority, without looking at its own employees, the situation for the employees has become unbearable.