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4 Jul 2017

Employees appeal for transport

TT, Jalpaiguri, July 3: Government employees who are posted at different departments in the hills and commute daily from the plains demonstrated in front of the district magistrate's office here today, demanding state's intervention so that they could join their workplaces during the strike.
"Everyday, several of us commute from the plains to the hills. But ever since the strike has started, no transport has been available for us to reach our workplaces. Some of us use motorcycles but they are worried of personal security as incidents of attack and arson are regularly occurring in the hills," a government employee posted in Kalimpong said.
On the other hand, he said, the state has issued a directive, mentioning that employees who are not joining their work regularly will have to face a cut in salaries and break in services.
In Jalpaiguri district, sources said. There are around 70 employees who are posted at educational institutions and other offices in the hills, mostly in Kalimpong district.
"Many of us travel regularly to places like Gorubathan, Pedong, Jhalong, Jaldhaka and Bindu (all in Kalimpong district and located close to the borders of Jalpaiguri district). But ever since the indefinite strike has started, we were stopped by bandh supporters when we enter the Kalimpong district. Some of us have even been threatened and asked to return home. We are in a fix and really don't know what to do," another government employee said.
Led by representatives of the Coordination Committee of State Government Employees, a Left Front organisation, the protesters demanded that the state take steps to ensure their attendance.
Rachna Bhagat, the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri, could not be contacted.
Another senior official posted in the district said the administration was aware of the employees' problems.
"There are employees not only in Jalpaiguri but also in Siliguri and surrounding areas who commute to their workplaces in the hills daily. The issue has come to our notice and we have taken up the matter with senior state officials in Calcutta," he said.
The official also indicated that unless he got a clear direction from the state, it was not possible to provide police escort to the employees to reach workplaces.

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