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Mada staff strike to hit water supply

- 600 vow to boycott work indefinitely from Friday

Dhanbad residents may do well to brace for water crisis in the coming days with the water division employees of Mineral Area Development Authority (Mada) threatening to go on an indefinite strike from June 13.

More than 600 employees under the banner of Pradhikar Karmachari Sangharsh Samanvaya Samiti are clamouring for a host of demands, including implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations with effect from January 1, 2006, Accelerated Career Progression scheme, pension scheme and notification for revised water tax that will help generate funds. Mada and the district administration held several rounds of talks with them after the strike call was issued and a list of their demands was also forwarded to the state government, but a solution was nowhere in sight.

“We had given enough time to the Mada authorities to consider our demands, but they are simply dilly-dallying. This cannot go on and hence, we decided to observe the strike to make our grievances heard,” convener of Pradhikar Karmachari Sangharsh Samanvaya Samiti S.N. Dubey told The Telegraph.

Another group of employees, owing allegiance to MADA Sanyukta Karmachari Sangharsh Samiti and working at the civic body’s headquarters, has also threatened to boycott work from June 13 on the same demands, but they disapproved of the other faction’s water supply disruption plans.

“Any decision to stop water supply at this time when the temperature is hovering between 40°C and 45°C is completely unjustified and inhuman. However, we will be voicing our protest against the unconcerned attitude of Mada administration by boycotting work for an indefinite period from June 13,” said convener of MADA Sanyukta Karmachari Sangharsh Samanvaya Samiti Devendra Nath Dubey.

Asked how they were planning to tackle the impending water crisis once the strike begins, technical member of MADA Vinod Kumar, who is officiating as managing director as Ravindra Singh is on leave, said: “A contingency plan was discussed at a meeting held by deputy commissioner Prashant Kumar on Monday. If the need arises, we will take the help of various other agencies like Maithon Power Limited, Tata Steel, Bharat Coking Coal Limited, Eastern Coalfields Limited, drinking water and sanitation department (DWSD) and Dhanbad Municipal Corporation to supply water to areas serviced by Mada.”

The district administration is also contemplating to take over the Jamadoba-based water treatment plant from the water division department of Mada from June 11 and hand over its operations to DWSD. Employees of the department have been given training in running the water treatment plant.

Mada supplies 174 lakh gallons of water to different localities of Dhanbad, including Jharia, Katras, Chatatand and Topchanchi.

Around 150 lakh gallons of water is sourced from Damodar river and treated at the two plants in Jamadoba. The remaining 24 lakh gallons is taken from Topchanchi Lake.


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