TURA | May 12, 2019:
The police personnel from various battalions of the Meghalaya Police, posted on election duty in West Bengal have aired their grievances over the dissimilarities in the travel and daily allowances.
Having posted for close to a month, these police personnel will return home only after the entire democratic exercise is complete. However when the time came for them to be provided their allowances, most got only 20% of what they were due.
According to the people posted on duty, the MLP 12t, 2nd and 4th battalion got an amount of Rs 6000 only while the 5th got only Rs 4500. They will be posted for 40 days in West Bengal (outside NE states).
Further, the relevance of the amounts paid to them comes into question as the state is still following, the over 30 year old, guidelines laid by the Meghalaya Travelling Allowance Rules, 1985. According to the rules, the daily allowance for those on duty comes to a paltry Rs 75 for a grade I officer, Rs 52.5 for a grade II, Rs 38.25 for a grade III and Rs 30 for a grade IV. In the case the officer is provided with free food and lodging, the amount paid is half.
“These rules are outdated and need to be updated to be at par with the current state of affairs. Sadly no one has taken this matter up for us. Seriously what can we get with Rs 75 in a day (half if board is provided)? For constables like us, surviving on Rs 38 per day is extreme,” said one of the policemen on the condition of anonymity.
According to one of the policemen, it seems the service rules may have been changed though they are yet to be provided any update.
“Last year when we went to Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, etc; for poll duty, we were paid an amount of Rs 600 per day. However this time, they said it was only Rs 150 per day. We don’t understand what has happened and how they were able to afford the Rs 600 per day earlier if the rules were not changed,” he added.
Most of the policemen, all of who spoke in condition of anonymity said that they did not mind the grind but at least they should not be denied what is their due.
“Even for arrears from such duties, we have to wait months on end and still don’t get it. Wish there was someone who thought of our state as well,” said the policemen.