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The Non-Gazetted Employees Association (NGEA) of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) has written to three state departments, namely the Director of Mineral Resources (DMR), Transport and Forest requesting the payments due to them.
From the affidavit submitted by the Secretary of the Council to the Court, during the ongoing hearing on the clearance of salaries of employees, the three departments owe the GHADC a total of Rs 55 crores.
GHADC employees have been unpaid for 26 months now, with two months of salaries cleared in December by the Council, just before Christmas.
“We have approached the three departments requesting the release of royalties due to us so that salaries of employees can be cleared. Earlier, on September 29, the former CEM submitted a letter to all these three departments to release the due share of the GHADC (Rs 15 crore from the Forest Department, Rs 20 crore from the Transport Department and another Rs 20 Crore from the DMR) to meet the expenditure for payment of salary to the GHADC employees,” NGEA president Senora Johnny Arengh said.
The employees, however, complained that the concerned departments took no initiative.
“We humbly request the MDA government to release these dues to the GHADC. They will only understand our situation if they ever face a situation similar to our own,” joint secretary Flaming Marak said.
The employees further expressed concern of being targeted by the former NPP-led Executive Committee (EC) headed by former CEM Dipul Marak for raising the issue of their salary.
The EC, as per the NGEA, had tried to stifle their voices on the matter by taking a resolution on August 26, 2020, whereby strong action was sought against employees expressing unhappiness over the salary issue on various forums.
“The former EC did this to suppress our right. We believe we have committed no crime against anybody and are only demanding our dues. We will not stop fighting for until we get our salaries,” added secretary Brithen Sangma.
(Edited by Ladiangti Rani)