The executive body of the Non- Gazetted Employees Association (NGEA) of Garo Hills Autonomous District Council on Wednesday said they will soon meet Prime Minister India to place grievances with the Prime Minister of India.
The Association strongly condemned the statement of District Council Affairs Minister, Lakhmen Rymbui who recently said that the government was not responsible for payment of employees’ salaries of the GHADC.
The DCA minister in his statement said that Rs.18.20 crores had been released to the GHADC, however, he made it clear that these funds are mean for developmental activities that were included in the plans and estimates proposed by ADCs and cannot be diverted to pay salaries.
Reacting to this, the NGEA said, “the state government also has the responsibility to release the royalty share to ADC which they are entitled to, but the government of the day have no interest in releasing the royalty share to the ADC particularly to the GHADC.” The NGEA countered the statement saying that if that was the case, the amount should also not be used for clearing and payment of pending bills to contractors.
They informed that as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs Govt. of India, the ADC has to invite the tender for various projects and allotted the construction of work to the various contractors and thereafter specifying the project the concerned contractors will execute the work and after the completion of the work the bill will be paid to the contractors.
“ But at present the said amount of Rs. 18.20 Crores cannot be used to clear the pending bill of the contractors as the said amount is for new projects, and at present, there is no executive committee in GHADC as the GHADC is under the full control of the administrator, therefore, Developmental activities cannot be taken up and implemented in the GHADC,” the NGEA said.
With regards to the non-release of the Royalty to GHADC, the NGEA referred that on 29th September 2020 the former CEM of GHADC has submitted three letters to three departments namely, Principal Chief Conservator of forest Government of Meghalaya requesting to release 15 Crores of royalty share of GHADC.
The NGEA also questioned the silence of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for three years on the pending salary issue reminding him that it was his party that was at the helm in the GHADC during the period.
“The Executive Body of the NGEA also like to question the Chief Minister for his silence on the issue of non releasing of salary for the past three years and interestingly the Chief Minister will agree that it was his NPP party who run the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council since from 2015 to 16th October 2020 but NPP Executive committee of GHADC has totally failed to release the salary to the employees since from the month of March 2018 till date,” the statement said.
“The NGEA also stated that during the campaign for GHADC Election in the year of 2015, Shri. Conrad K. Sangma present Chief Minister has repeatedly promised an assured to the employees of GHADC that the first priority of the NPP is to release the pending salary of the employees if voted to power but shockingly his party has run the GHADC for the full term of five years but his party has neglected to pay the pending salaries to the employees,” NGEA reminded adding, “when NPP has formed the MDA Govt. they have deputed the present Secretary of the GHADC Smti. Rikse R. Marak whom we have witnessed the worst Secretary of GHADC, in the history who always targeted the employees and rudely misbehave with the employees and least bother and have no remorse and sympathized with the employees.”
The NGEA also suggested to the District Council Affairs Minister that before carrying out various developmental projects in Garo Hills, the government should first think about feeding the employees who are starving to death.
“The employees of GHADC want to inform our Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri. Conrad K. Sangma that our children are not asking for Pizza in the luxurious restaurant but our children only demanding two square meal in a day from us,” they said adding “We want to inform to our Hon’ble Minister for District Council Affairs that before carrying out the various developmental project in sixth schedule areas in Garo Hills first feed the people of Garo Hills particularly the employees of GHADC who are starving to death, we cannot talk on the developmental activities without first feeding the employee who are starving to death.”
The association further criticises the ‘CMO Meghalaya Reach out we care to inform’ social media claim which states….’ total of Rs. 46.57 Crores have already been drawn as advance payment by GHADC.’ is mentioned.