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24 Jun 2017

State may end contracts of absentee GTA staffers

Debasish Konar | TNN | Jun 24, 2017, KOLKATA: The state government may have been considering the termination of the contracts of workers failing to attend office during the GJM's indefinite bandh since June 12, but hardly anyone among the 150 permanent staffers and over 4,000 contractual employees at the GTA office has reportedly been turning up for work. Thursday was no exception, with only a handful of senior officials attending the GTA office, when auditors from Kolkata visited there for a special verification of certain Hills projects.
"We are to hold meeting with auditors here but we are sitting idle. How can we function without the employees? " a GTA official said. They have also sent a report to Nabanna on the number of absentees.
The state finance department on June 11 had issued a circular, making it mandatory for all its employees to attend work in Darjeeling and Kalimpong even as the GJM called for an indefinite bandh from June 12.The state finance department on June 11 had issued a circular, making it mandatory for all its employees to attend work in Darjeeling and Kalimpong even as the GJM called for an indefinite bandh from June 12.The notice warned permanent employees their absence would be considered as "break in service and no salary would be paid". But now that the order did not seem to have the desired effect, Nabanna officials said they planned to terminate GTA 's contractual workers as they had failed "to continue with the services". Going by the June 11 circular, an explanation would be sought before initiating any action but if the response was unsatisfactory , "disciplinary steps would be taken". Officials are now waiting for Mamata Banerjee's return from The Netherlands for the final decision.

An IAS officer posted in Darjeeling pointed out with the GJM controlling the GTA, most of the 4,000 contractual staffers were participating in the Morcha rallies, instead of reporting to work. "They are loyal to the GJM, which has given them the jobs. Even permanent employees are siding with the GJM, knowing well it isn't easy for the government to terminate their services and they can move court to be reinstated," he said.
But the poor attendance has peeved off senior officials. "The DM is to send an absentee report to Nabanna," an official said. If the absentee employees' replies to the notices were unsatisfactory, the state can suspend them or cut their pay . "We can send them to the Sunderbans or Jangalmahal," a Nabanna official said.

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