Pasighat By Maksam Tayeng
The sanitary staffs of Pasighat Municipal Council (PMC) have organized a peaceful dharna in front of the PMC office today while demanding for release of their 13 months salaries and have also threatened to launch a tool down protest if their genuine grievances are not solved on time.
Shouting slogans like ‘Hamari mangeh puri karo’, ‘PMC authorities hai hai’, ‘nehi chalega nehi chalega gunda gardi nehi chalega’ and with displaycard showing ‘we want justice’, ‘my children are crying for food’ etc.
the aggrieved sanitary staffs appealed the concern authorities of PMC and Dy. Commissioner, Pasighat, East Siang District to fulfill their demands within short period.
The sanitary staffs said that, they are poor and very hardly managing their ends meet as no shopkeepers are now ready to give any grocery items on credit as they haven’t been able to pay the pending dues of shops owing to non receipt of salaries from long time.
Speaking from the aggrieved staffs, Mr. Kenter Koyu and Ms Yape Riyang said that they had also written to PMC authorities for twice in the past, but that time too they didn’t clear the pending salaries and paid only of the recent months while keeping the previous months salaries pending which is beyond the understanding of the staffs.
“We are told that the salaries are pending due to fund shortages, but the authorities are still appointing new staffs in recent time totaling 10 members. If they can’t pay the pending salaries of existing staffs, how will they pay the salaries of new staffs?
Besides the demand for early release of pending salaries we also demand for regularization of our post/appointment including termination of new appointees”, added Kenter Koyu. “We have been appealing for timely release of pending salaries and we were kept neglected whenever we approached the authorities. So, this time if the authorities keep neglecting our demands we will stop collecting garbages and will also launch hunger strike”, said Yape Riyang.
However, when contacted for his reaction about the demands of sanitary staffs, Pasighat East MLA Kaling Moyong has said that he has discussed the matter with Dy. Commissioner, Pasighat who is likely to address and resolve the matter.
While DC Pasighat, Dr. Kinny Singh said that she is taking up the matter seriously and the salaries of sanitary staffs are pending at Itanagar which if released will be disbursed soon.
Dr. Singh also said that the door to door garbage collection revenues are also pending and she has appealed the people of Pasighat township to pay their respective revenues of door to door garbage collection so that the salaries of sanitary staffs could be also managed internally without waiting for the annual funds granted/allocated by the higher authorities at Itanagar.
While Er, Kipa Gagung, PMC Municipal Executive Engineer also said that “PMC is allocated only Rs. 72,00,000 (Seventy Two Lakhs, only) annually in comparison to Itanagar Municipal Council which gets Rs. 1,80,00,000 (One Crore Eighty Lakhs, only). Out of these meager funds of seventy two lakhs annually, we have to manage everything including vehicle management, fuel, office management, staff salaries etc.
The tool down dharna protest if continued by the sanitary staffs is likely to affect the cleanliness of Pasighat township, the oldest administrative centre of Arunachal Pradesh.
It is worth mentioning here that Pasighat was selected for development as Smart City by the Union Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India making the list of smart development before the state capital Itanagar made it to the list at later stage.
When the Pasighat town of East Siang District is toward its development as Smart City, the deprivation of its sanitary staffs salaries for total of 13 months puts question marks in the management of PMC as the aggrieved staffs have also alleged irregularities and malpractices by the PMC authorities here in connection with the funds and schemes granted to PMC from FFC, SBM etc.