The Mamata Banerjee government has declared October 26 a public holiday “in connection with the Durga Puja festival” that will have ended two days earlier, filling the missing link in a 10-day chain of celebration for its employees.
The gift, though gleefully accepted by the workforce, raised some eyebrows at Writers’ because it goes against the grain of chief minister Mamata’s promise to reinstate work culture in a state infamous for shirking it.
The finance department’s holiday notification No. 8615-F(P) has saved many employees the casual leave they had applied for on October 26 to enjoy 10 consecutive days off, starting with Sashthi on October 20 and ending with Lakshmi Puja on October 29.
The holiday notice is applicable to all state government offices, statutory bodies, undertakings, local bodies and educational institutions. But around 85,000 state employees involved in the revision of electoral rolls currently under way in the state will have to work on the dates that are not holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act.
“Going by the rule book, these employees will have to be on duty on October 20, 25 and 26,” Bengal’s joint chief electoral officer Saibal Barman told Metro. “We shall notify this to avoid confusion.”
Central government offices, banks and post offices will be open.
“The government would need to officially modify the list of government holidays notified on December 7, 2011, to include October 26. This takes us back to the days when government employees would enjoy a long break from Saptami till Lakshmi Puja,” an official said.
The erstwhile Left Front government had scrapped the practice of giving employees consecutive days off, irrespective of the gap between festivals, in 2007.