Tribune News Service
Patiala, February 23
Miffed over the non-fulfillment of long-pending demands, hundreds of government employees of various departments held a massive protest march here today.
Protesters, under the banner of the Punjab and UT Mulazam Sangharsh Morcha, were marching towards the Chief Minister’s residence, when they received a written assurance of a meeting with the Punjab Chief Minister, so they called off the protest.
Before the march, the protesters had gathered in huge numbers at PUDA ground near the bus stand and staged a sit-in for hours there.
They raised slogans against the state government for failing to provide employment, health facilities and better education to the people of Punjab.
The protesters demanded regularisation in services of contractual employees working under different government-run societies. They also demanded salary increase of ASHA workers and mid-day meal workers. They said that old pension scheme should immediately be implemented.
Davinder Punia, member, Punjab and UT Mulaazam Sangarsh Morcha, said that state government had failed to fulfil the promises even, after it had been in power for three years.
He said, “There is a feeling of discontentment and frustration among the government employees as the government has failed to deliver. The CM has failed to implement the Sixth Pay Commission.”
Another protester said, “ASHA workers work for at least seven to eight hours daily, but they are considered as voluntary health activists and are not paid even minimum wages. We demand that our pay should be fixed on the same pattern as adopted by the neighbouring states.”
The march was called off near Capital Cinema on Mall road after SDM gave a written assurance of a meeting with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on March 4.
Police remain on toes
After the Saturday’s incident, wherein ETT TET-pass-employed teachers somehow were able to reach the Chief Minister residence, the police remained on toes throughout the day. All roads leading
to the CM’s residence remained blocked while major roundabouts were
barricaded. Water-canon machines were also stationed near the CM’s residence.
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