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DRDA staff announce agitation

Dhubri, Feb. 19: The All Assam DRDA Employees’ Association has announced a phase-wise agitation from February 24 to protest the non-fulfilment of their demands, including non-payment their salaries for the past eight months.

Nearly 650 employees, who were recruited to run the district rural development agency (DRDA), were left without any work after the formation and transfer of most of the functions to the zilla parishads. A source said many of the employees who worked for more than 30 to 35 years retired without getting any benefits.

The association has been engaged in talks with the state government for nearly 10 ye-ars and in a meeting in January, it was decided that the Assam panchayat and rural development department wou-ld absorb all the agency employees and release the outstanding salaries within that month. But till date no salary has been released.

The secretary of the association, Mahendra Dutta, said most of the state governments in the country like Rajasthan, Bengal, Nagaland, Goa, Punjab, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand have absorbed the DRDA employees long ago.

Dutta said the Assam government has already regularised the services of many employees of various organisations, institutions and civic bodies and it could easily do the same for the 650 DRDA employees across Assam.

But since the government has failed to so do, the association has announced the agitation from next week. On February 25, the staff will stage a sit-in in front of their respective DRDA offices across the state, on March 4 and 5, they will stage a fast and a three-day non-co-operation will begin on March 11.