Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Reconstruction engineers, technicians resign en masse

Blaming the government for not address their demands, agitating engineers and other technicians deployed for assisting in the houses reconstruction work in the 11 earthquake-hit districts have tendered their resignation en masse to the Urban Development Ministry today.
As many as 1,200 engineers and technicians – of the total around 2,300 engineers and technicians deployed in the 11 districts – went to the Central Level Project Implementation Unit of the Ministry today and collectively tendered their resignations to joint-secretary of the ministry Shiva Hari Sharma, one of the engineers, who resigned, said.
However, the ministry has yet to approve their resignations, he said, adding that they were forced to resign as the government did not address their demands by December 15, which was their ultimatum deadline.
"As the government did not address our demands despite our frequent requests, we decided to resign en masse," an engineer and also a coordinator of the 'central protest committee' formed by the engineers and technicians Gajendra Kumar Jha said, adding that it is not possible to work under such poor conditions any longer.
 The agitating engineers had been complaining that they have been forced to work under 'poor working conditions' without proper office space, and that the government did not provide sufficient perks and other facilities compared to their workload and remoteness of their work stations.
They have demanded allowances equal to 100 per cent of their monthly salaries, to set up offices for them and provide them life insurance. Similarly, they have also demanded that the government endorse the grant distribution directive in line with the announcement made by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to increase the grant amount from Rs 200,000 to Rs 300,000 as soon as possible.
The engineers oversee reconstruction of houses constructed by quake victims to ensure that they meet the earthquake-resilient re-construction guidelines set by the government and make recommendation for the second and third tranches of the government grant. Their resignation is likely to seriously affect the reconstruction work as the government cannot distribute the second tranche to the quake victims as recommendation from the engineers is mandatory for grant.
While receiving the resignation letter, joint-secretary Sharma requested them to return to their work stations. He also said that the government is all set to address their demands within few days. "But we will not return to work until the government comes up with a decision to address our demands," Jha added.
Since the past weeks, they have halted work in the districts as part of their symbolic protests and many of them have come to the capital to press the government over their demands.

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