Tripura re-hire hope for project workers

Two months after their jobs were terminated, 626 contractual employees of the Tripura Jica project funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) have heaved a sigh of relief.

By Debraj Deb in Agartala
  • Published 29.06.18
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Agartala: Two months after their jobs were terminated, 626 contractual employees of the Tripura Jica project funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) have heaved a sigh of relief.

Chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb said on Wednesdaythat phase II of the project could start in October this year and the state government would review previous work of the temporarily-terminated employees and reappoint them.

In a reference period notice moved in the Assembly, CPM legislators Sudhan Das and Jashbir Tripura sought to know the stand of the state government on the 626 employees appointed under Jica.

On April 1 this year, an official notification by the state government said employment tenure of 626 employees under Tripura Jica Project had been increased by six months. It also said all employees who would retire on March 31 this year would be in service till September.

However, on April 20, a notification issued by former project director G.S. Raju said: "All contractual staff and outsourced personnel of the PMU (project management unit) need not attend office with immediate effect."

Forest minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia said phase II of the project would start in the state from October this year. He also said the second phase is expected to involve Rs 1,000 crore from Jica. Phase I of the project had a funds involvement of Rs 750 crore.

The first phase of work of Tripura Jica project started in 2007-2008 and was completed in March, 2017. The erstwhile Left Front government extended service tenure of the project employees in two phases till March this year. A provisional fund of Rs 45 crore was also allocated in October last year. After the second extension expired, the contractual employees were informed that their service had been discontinued.

On the government's plans to retain these employees in phase II, Deb informed the House that the government would review their work and reappoint as per eligibility.

"Tripura Jica Project grants contractual jobs as per project availability. After phase II of the project starts, the government will 'review' those who had previously worked in it and reappoint," he said.