by Salma Masood
The causal labourers of the tourism department on Saturday staged a protest demonstration here at Press Enclave Lal Chowk demanding the release of their pending wages.
The protesting casual labourers said that they have not been paid since July 2014 despite continuing their service to the department.
According to the National Informatics Centre (NIC) website of the tourism department, a total of 342 casual labourers are registered but the protestors alleged that only 14 of them get the wages.
“We requested our director and department many times but nobody heard us. Orders were released but no attention paid to them. We worked hard during floods too for the department,” said Kaiser Ahmed, one of the labourers.
The protestors said that an order directing release of wages was issued on October 24, 2018, and another order was again released on January 1, 2019, but no action was taken.
They also said that the order prohibited the release of separate bills but Nigeen club account is releasing salaries for 14 individuals.
A female labourer not wanting to be named said that she can’t even manage the bus fare to reach office but are asked to come every day. “I don’t understand if they can spend so much money on festivals then why can’t they pay us. They get their work done for free and we suffer,” she said.
Another labourer from Tangmarg, Abdul Hameed Lone expressed agony for not being able to pay school fees of children or buy books and stationery. “They are deceiving us and only holding meetings. We only want what we deserve,” he said.
The protesting casual labourers request the Governor Satya Malik to look into the matter and release their wages.