A day after Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory on May 23, a circular was issued by General Administration Department (GAD), J&K. The circular has put thousands of contractual and daily workers’ jobs at risk.
Tanvir Hussain, president of All J&K PHE, ITI Trained and CP Workers’ Association, said: “After coming to power for the second time, this is BJP’s gift to the poor workers. Over 30,000 Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department workers will lose their jobs because of this notification. For years, these workers have worked on paltry wages. This is anti-people order and we will fight tooth and nail against it.” PHE workers or Public Health Engineering Department ensures drinking water facility to all the residents in rural as well as urban areas.
The order by GAD invokes Section 14 of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Special Provisions) Act, 2010, which states “restriction on further adhoc or contractual or consolidated appointments”. The circular reads, “With effect from the commencement of this Act, no appointment shall be made by any department against any post on ad hoc or contractual or consolidated or temporary basis and all vacant posts shall be filled up strictly in accordance with rules governing the recruitment to the respective services or posts.”
The order further impresses upon the fact “any person appointed on adhoc/contractual/consolidated/temporary basis after the imposition of ban on such engagements (i.e. on or after 29.04.2010) in contravention of the provisions of the Act shall forthwith cease to continue.” The order also reiterates that any workers engaged on or after 17.03.2015 “without the specific approval of Competent authority or following due procedure” shall also cease to continue forthwith.
The circular has evoked anger among the workers who are terming the circular as “anti-people and inhuman”.
Speaking to NewsClick, contractual lecturer, Jeevan said, “How can GAD even think of passing such a circular that will leave thousands of workers jobless? Few workers have attempted to commit suicide after this circular. This is going to have devastating consequences on us. Modi government has just come to power, and this is what they are doing to us. Around 60,000 workers including contractual, ad hoc and daily wagers are going to lose their jobs. If the order is not revoked, we assure you that we will fight to make sure that BJP never comes to power, at least not in our state.” Contractual workers have been on a chain hunger strike for over two years, demanding regulariation of their jobs.
Speaking to The Tribune, Farooq Ahmed Lone, GAD secretary, said, “This is not a new order but a reiteration of two previous orders. Workers are being misled and unnecessary controversy is being created. Employees who had been engaged through proper channel need not worry but those engaged through illegal means will have to go”.
“Every time before elections they assure her permanent jobs and once they assume power, they neglect our existence,” Hussain said.