Mada staff threaten strike over salary dues
The employees of Mineral Area Development Authority (Mada), who have not got salaries for 44 months over a period of 10 years, are planning to strike work and stop water supply to different parts for Jharia and Katras from June 15 in protest.
Mada supplies water from the Damodar to more than 10 lakh residents of Jharia and Katras circles through its Jamadoba-based water treatment plant complex. In some parts of Katras, Mada supplies water from Topchanchi lake as well.
The protesters, who had earlier this month held phase-wise meetings at different water supply installations and health circles of Mada across the district, are pitching for a 12-point charter of demands .
Md Aslam, an employee of the Mada’s water supply division, on Sunday said: “Our main demands are regularisation of salaries and implementation the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations and the Modified Assured Career Progression (MACP) scheme.”
Aslam is also the deputy general of Koyla Khanan Kshetra Vikas Pradhikar Swasthya Safai evam Jal Sanyog Karmchari Sangh.
He said Mada’s revenue had increased three-fold since it hiked water charges in November last year.
“The civic body’s revenues have increased to around Rs 12 crore per month from Rs 3 crore per month, but the management is still not paying the salaries regularly,” Aslam said.
He alleged that the Mada administration would cite cash crunch as the reason behind non-payment of salaries, but that was not stopping it from replacing motors and valves and desilting the Topchanchi lake on a regular basis.
“We will be compelled to strike work from June 15 if the administration fails to meet our demands,” Aslam added.
Radha Raman Singh, vice-president of Koyla Khanan Kshetra Vikas Pradhikar Swasthya Safai evam Jal Sanyog Karmchari Sangh, said the dependants of hundreds of deceased employees of Mada were waiting for jobs on compassionate ground for several years.
“But instead of providing jobs to them, Mada is planning to engage employees on a contractual basis following the proposed taking over of the water supply system of Dhanbad. This is totally irrational,” he said.
Indresh Shukla, a technical member of Mada, said they were taking steps to regularise salaries.
“Negotiations are underway at the government level for allocation of funds for the payment of pending salaries,” he added.