Striking employees

State Government employees will intensify their strike if the Government continues with its confrontational attitude. This was the reaction of most of the leaders of employees union who are now on a strike that has affected almost all districts in the State. Employees Union has refused to be cowed down by the arrest of some of their leaders during a night action by the police in Srinagar. The demands of employees are regarding enhancement of retirement age from 58 to 60 years, regularization of daily rated, consolidated/casual workers has not been addressed, issue of pay anomalies has not been settled and large number of PSU workers have been deprived of the 6th Pay Commission benefits. Their arrears have not be released and conditions on the GP Fund drawls have been imposed by Government. If there has been an agreement between the government and the employees union as is claimed by the latter, there seems no reason why the clauses of the agreement should not be implemented. A Government cannot function if it is at loggerheads with its employees. Obviously the tempers must cool down on both sides and the matter has to be resoled through dialogue. There is absolutely no need of taking extreme postures in matters of public welfare. If the Government has any specific difficulty in meeting the demands of the employees, it can call in the leadership and re-open discussions. There is no harm in doing that. After all the employees are not enemies of the Government. They are patriotic civil servants who render service in the interests of the nation. This disturbing situation should come to an end without a minute’s delay.

Mailbag

Insecurity of RTI activists
Sir,
The ‘Right to Information Act’ is perhaps the land mark piece of legislation aiming at the restoration at our lost Right to Information.
It empowers the common man to extract information with some exceptions and provides the opportunity to Govt to know about the corruption, nepotism and exploitation of human and natural resources by the politicians, bureaucrats, musclemen, contractors, anti-social elements etc. etc And for self introspection of their failures to discharge their bounden obligations/duties to the electorate.
Unfortunately, the RTI Act, has no provision for the security, safety of the whistle blowers (RTI Activists). Resulting in their murders, brutal attacks on their lives, threats and harassments, which are being repeated invariably. This fact, has rendered the Act, toothless and ineffective.
Even the ‘State Information Commission’, the prime agency for the implementation of this Act, has no powers to ensure the safety of its activists and will to sensitize the Govt or administration regarding the dire need of providing security to the RTI activists against their murders and attacks etc by the anti-national elements in the public.
The need of the hour is therefore to protect these whistle blowers.
Hope Government and other stake holders will rise to the occasion.
Yours etc…
O P Thakur
Indira Colony
Janipur

Smoking at public places
Sir,
Smoking at public places like offices, bus stands, railway stations, auditoriums, museums etc has been banned since last one decade or so but the fact is this that smoking is rampantly seen at many places around us. Smoking is easily spotted even in the premises of educational institutions and offices of public dealing. It is commonly noticed that people smoking under the very nose of stickers/sign boards of “No Smoking”. Recently I happened to face a similar situation while visiting restaurants (fully air-conditioned) in outskirts of Jammu. There were a number of stickers with statuary warning of “No smoking’ displayed over all entry points but on entering inside I found the customers smoking without any hesitation under the nose of “No Smoking” stickers. Probably asking customers not to smoke may affect business. It amply speaks of “Double Standard” which is often spotted. Few months back, probably in January this year, there was a strict move by Anti-Tobacco Squad (ATS) in Kashmir valley when a good number of people were found smoking in public places in Srinagar and Ganderbal and they were imposed fine by the ATS team. It was a priaseworthy step. In this case, ATS team did not spare even officers in DDC office, Ganderbal. Such a stringent drive at Ganderbal against violators in equitable and unbiased manner by the ATS team against the violators will certainly convey a strong message amongst the public. It is obviously clear that smoking in public places has been banned since last over one decade through Supreme Court Judgment. But, unfrotunately smoking goes on without any fear.. It becomes prime duty of every citizen to honor the judgment of Supreme Court-the highest Court of Justice in our country. There is utmost need of sensitization in society.
Yours etc….
Lokinder Singh Ravi
Jammu

Not beyond 58
Sir,
Employees who are demanding retirement age to be increased to 60, are completely out of emotions, and have no concern about their children who are highly educated, yet unemployed. Elderly Govt employees will continue to get pensionary benefits. Let them honestly introspect their highly unjustified demand. We have to logically think that we are all dependent on Govt jobs (in j and k) and we should support for creation of more and more posts for younger generations and give our youth ample chances and support to get employed.
Yours etc…..
Mohd Towaha
Baramulla

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