The state government engineers would go on an indefinite strike from Wednesday to press their demand for pay hike, hampering several development projects as well as the optimum utilisation of funds under the plan head.
Utilising nearly Rs 10,000 crore in the remaining two months of this fiscal would be an uphill task for the state government with engineers on strike. The state has so far used Rs 18,600 crore of its plan outlay of Rs 28,000 crore.
The functioning of the key government departments, including road construction, building construction, water resources, public health and engineering, urban development and housing, rural works, minor irrigation, and planning and development departments, would be adversely hit by the strike. But Bihar Engineering Services Association (Besa) appeared determined on treading the agitation path.
Besa general secretary Rajeshwar Mishra said: “The government responded to our demand negatively despite several rounds of talks. So we decided to go on an indefinite strike from tomorrow (Wednesday). We have sent the copies of our charter of demands to the chief minister’s office, the finance department and other departments concerned.”
Finance department principal secretary Rameshwar Singh said: “There is no immediate solution to their (engineers’) demands. The engineers have sent a letter to the chief secretary. I can only carry out his recommendations.”
In the city, the development work near Mahatma’s statue at Gandhi Maidan would come to a grinding halt.
The project, which has missed two deadlines, would be delayed further. Maintenance of roads would come to a nought. The maps of new parks under the urban development department would also be delayed.
Away from the city, Nirmal Gram Yojana — a scheme for total sanitation at panchayats — would be hit. Water supply projects would be hindered.
Admitting that the strike would hit his department, water resources minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary said: “The engineers should not go on strike.”
Public health and engineering minister Chandra Mohan Rai and rural works minister Bhim Singh echoed Choudhary.