Employees face problems in attending duties without transport facilities

Lower category, women staff worst hit

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, July 2: Though the Government announced unlock after two months lockdown in the country which was imposed as a safety measure against dreaded COVID-19 like other parts of the country, the Government and public sector as well as private offices resumed functioning in J&K too but the employees especially the women folk are facing many hardships in attending their routine duties due to non availability of transport facilities in the UT of J&K.
According to sources, due to failure of Government and transporters to reach a consensus on demands of transporters who have opted to remain off the roads till their demands are settled, the thousands of Government and public sector employees have been put to many hardships in attending to their daily duties. The problem has taken worst turn for these hapless employees after the higher ups in administration made rounds of the Government offices and took action against the employees who were found absent from their duties, sources added.
The situation created due to standoff between transporters and Government has hit the Government, public as well as some private sector employees’ worst who are in a quandary as they are not finding any alternative in reaching to their offices to attend their routine duties both in Jammu region as well as Kashmir valley, sources said.
The problem is worst for Class IV, Class III and women employees who can’t afford their personal vehicles, sources said, adding under the prevailing situation these employees are constrained to attend their routine duties.
Sources, while questioning the wisdom of the Government in ordering employees to attend their duties when restrictions under Coronavirus lockdown for civil transport have not been lifted said under these conditions due to non availability of transport facilities most of the employees are unable to attend their duties.
Sources said the lackadaisical approach of the Government has put the hapless employees to many hardships and they are facing lot of harassment through the hands of higher ups who in their quest to prove more loyal than the king have started raids on the Government offices to check the attendance of the staff. Some lower staff has been marked absent and put under suspension by these officers especially in Kashmir valley who were found absent from duty causing a lot of humiliation and harassment to the employees, sources added.
They said no one can deny that every employee is bound to attend the duty and he/she can’t shirk it but under the existing circumstances when there is no public transport and every Government or public sector employee does not possess personal transport facility are unable to attend the duty especially when he is posted 15 or 20 kms or more away from his home locality.
Moreover in view of the pandemic and imperative social distancing to protect oneself , no body was ready to take a risk of his life by offering a lift to any bystander in his or her private vehicle, sources said.
They said the women and Class IV employees are at receiving end during present circumstances and the employees who have been placed under suspension by their bosses during the attendance checking have become the victim of mental trauma and depression.
Accusing the Government of being bereft of any policy in this regard sources said that it could have put the SRTC fleet in service for ferrying the Government and public sector employees especially during office hours to provide a succor to them.
When Government has a big fleet of SRTC buses in both the regions of Jammu as well as Kashmir, it could have put them into service with a two pronged objective one for transportation of Government employees and public sector employees and second for generation of revenue for SRTC.
Sources said that some women employees have to take lifts from their relatives but this is not also possible for ever as the standoff with transporters seems to be an unending affair. Moreover some employees have started pooling system but it also proves to be a costly affair for them, sources added.
Sources said that the employees working in other districts are also worst sufferers as they can’t afford the pooling system also. Some employees bodies while taking serious exception of the situation created due to the mismanagement on part of the Government have urged it either to sort out the issue with transporters or put the SRTC buses in service for ferrying the Government employees especially women folk.
The issue has also been taken up with the Government by All J&K Passengers Welfare Association and it has stressed on evolving a consensus between Government and transporters so that the people do not suffer.
However, official sources told Excelsior that Government is trying to sort out the issue with transporters and it is hopeful that some tangible result will emerge soon.
Divisional Commissioner, Jammu Sanjeev Verma said that Government is trying to sort out the issue with transporters and he is hopeful of a good outcome within days. “We had granted permission to transporters to ply the public transport but they are themselves adamant not to resume the services. However, Government is on the job and we are trying our best to sort out the issue to ease the problems of employees and other daily commuters.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir P K Pole said that they have issued directives to SRTC to ply buses in the Valley especially for the employees. Moreover concerned DCs have also been asked to issue passes to the Government employees so that they may not face any difficulty.