Forest Dept casual employees without salary; Admin blames NHPC

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Srinagar, Sep 12: The casual employees of Forest Department with Catchment Area Treatment (CAT), Uri, demand release of their wages.
The employees, around 90, said their salaries have been withheld for the last six months, resulting in tremendous hardships.
“Some of us have been working since 1995 and others from 2000.We have been doing our job to the utmost satisfaction of our superiors. Our primary duty is to keep vigil on nurseries, where trees such as Kikar and Brein have been planted,” said Farooq Ahmad.
The employees said they are officially entitled to get an honorarium of Rs 4,500.
“We are being paid Rs 2,500. It is quite unfortunate that a meagre amount is paid to us. In comparison, all other casual employees working in other government departments are getting Rs 4,500. We are unable to feed our family,” said Bashir Ahmad.
The employees said they went to the higher-ups in the department with their issues.
“Nothing has happened so far. We even met the MoS Forest, who asked the authorities concerned to resolve our issues,” they said.
They said if their issues were not resolved, they will hit the streets to lodge their protest.
Chief Conservator of Forests, Nisar Ahmad, said they don’t have funds.
“The funds come from NHPC. As soon as we receive the funds, we will pay their salaries,” he said.
He said they will take up the matter of variation in the wages with the NHPC.
“The decision in this regard is to be taken by the NHPC,” he said.

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