From Our Correspondent | Tura, June 14, 2018:
The plight and hardship of daily wage earners, the muster roll workers of the PWD – Resubelpara division in North Garo Hills came to light today after it was informed that these workers are yet to receive their monthly wages of close to 4 months.
Close to 200 muster roll workers of the department are left to suffer painfully and in silence. Moreover, despite some of the muster roll workers completing 20, 30 or even 40 years in services, their jobs are yet to be made permanent!
The matter came to light after a visit to one of the PWD maintained guest houses in the district where some of the employees finally let out their heartfelt woes at how they were surviving.
“We are paid Rs 201 per day or Rs 6030 per month. However, the payments made are very irregular. For the past 4 months though, we have not been paid anything and are struggling with our lives. Some of us are in such a state that we don’t know when our next meal is coming from,” said one of the employees on the condition of anonymity.
Earlier, instances of similar happenings were also cited wherein the employees claimed that they would be paid half or a just a little more than what was due to them.
“If we are owed 5 months, we would get only 2-3 months wages. The remaining amount would then get circulated for the future. This has been happening on a regular basis,” said the employee.
The situation is similar in most places with most relying on each other’s help to pass through the months. “Our families are suffering more than us as there is literally nothing to send or take back home. Who will look after the welfare of our children and their education and with what will it be done,” said another.
The employees further raised the issue of permanency of their jobs. “Some of us are working for over 30 years and some for 20 – all on Rs 201 per day. There are people who have retired from their posts after 40 years of service. However, they were never given permanent posts and took back nothing with them,” said another worker.
When contacted upon the matter, the deputy commissioner of NGH, SC Sadhu promised to speak to the department concerned on the matter as well as the engineer. The PWD, however, could not be contacted for comment.