PHE workers’ strike, protests enter 11th day; public badly suffers

PHE workers staging protesting outside Chief Engg's office at BC Road Complex in Jammu on Saturday. — Excelsior/ Rakesh
PHE workers staging protesting outside Chief Engg's office at BC Road Complex in Jammu on Saturday. — Excelsior/ Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, July 2: The protests and strike of thousands of PHE daily wage workers across the region entered 11th consecutive day today, while the Lt Governor’s Administration was maintaining ‘criminal silence’ despite the sufferings of the general public which is facing severe water crisis during these hot summer days.
People from many urban, semi -urban and rural areas are badly suffering due to water crisis. In some areas, the water supply has been suspended for the last one week and the people have been forced to purchase water through private tankers and even fetching from water sources on tractor trolleys in plastic barrels/ containers. Without essential supply, the life of the people has turned miserable while the LG’s administration has turned mute spectator. Even several wards of Udhamur town including 12 ward, are without water supply for the last 10 days.
PHE workers, under the banner of PHE Employees United Front who are on strike since June 22. Today at BC Road PHE complex Jammu, many workers pulled up their shirts and staged massive protest demonstrations shouting slogans against, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, BJP and others. They alleged that even the BJP leaders of Jammu were maintaining criminal silence over the issue.
Similar protests were held at PHE Station Company Bagh, Water Station Sitlee, Narwal Pumping Station, all the Divisional and Sub Divisional headquarters across the region. They were shouting slogans in support of their long pending demands and also against the UT administration.
Several senior leaders of the PHE United Front addressed the gatherings and criticized the J&K UT Government for not addressing the pending issues of the employees including daily rated/CP workers. They demanded the regularisation of the daily rated workers, enhancement of Minimum Wages as per Central law in J&K UT, enhancement of Medical allowance of the employees and workers, release of pending wages of 70 months of PHE workers.
They strongly condemned the rigid and anti-employee attitude of senior Government officers and even the two senior BJP leaders including Ravinder Raina and MP Jugal Kishore who only befooled them and done nothing for getting their long pending issues resolved.
The speakers claimed that their strike will continue till their issues are resolved. They have decided to extend strike up to July 3 and declared that they will not succumb to the pressure being mounted on them to call off strike till there are settled.