Reiterating its demands, the All Manipur Government Drivers and Technician Association (AMGDTA) has said that it will launch strong agitation from May if the state government failed to meet its demands within April.
The demands of the AMGDTA included rectification of the non-functional scheme from two tiers to three tiers system within 20 years, equalization of existing grade pay for Grade-III (group C) employees and regularization of the work charge/muster roll of driver employees at the earliest.
The AMGDTA highlighted its demands during a press meet held at Manipur Press Club in Imphal.
Addressing media persons, AMGDTA working president K Ibomcha Sharma said the demands of the drivers’ association is a long-running matter and applications had been submitted in the past, demanding upgradation from two tiers to three tiers system.
The three tiers system has been implemented in most of the neighbouring states and Manipur is one of the few that have been left out, he added.
The AMGDTA president said the driver’s association has been demanding to fulfil their demands for a long time but there is no one to hear its voice.
In 2017, a memorandum was submitted to the chief minister with their demands. In 2018, a silent rally was held and a memorandum submitted to the governor, the chief minister as well as the chief secretary but till today the memorandum has not been taken up for discussion, said Ibomcha.
From 2019 until today the driver’s association has sought appointment with the chief minister on the matter but denied.
The association carried out a black badge protest for 10 days in 2019 and had taken one-day casual leave to hold sit-in protest by submitting an ultimatum letter to the chief minister and the state chief secretary. When the democratic protest was going on, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state and the protest was called off, he said.
Ibomcha further said that MLA Joykishan has taken up the demands in the state assembly session of February 28, 2020, and on February 22, 2021 assembly session. Speaker Y Khemchand has announced to put up an agenda in the cabinet. But the cabinet sitting in March did not take up the agenda of the drivers, he added.
The drivers’ association said all the other grade-III in group C employees who were getting 1,900 grade pay has been increased to 2000. But the grade-III in group C drivers have been left out during the order issued in 2019. The association revoked its plan to hold agitations as the chief secretary appealed to the association to withdraw the agitation, saying an amicable solution can be brought through dialogue.
“If the state government do not fulfil the demands of the association, we will be launching a strong agitation from next month,” Ibomcha added.