Works in land revenue offices came to a standstill across Assam with the All Assam Mandal Kanangu Sanmilani (All Assam Revenue Department Employees’ Association) launching a three-day strike from Monday.
The call for the stir has been given by the revenue department employees’ body in support of their 17-point charter of demands.
Mandals, kanangus and chainmen across the State on Monday stayed away from work.
President of the association, Amulya Kalita, a senior Kanangu posted in Jorhat Revenue Circle (East) said here on Monday that as per the general meeting of the Association held in Guwahati on September 9, the decision to observe a stir for three days was taken after the Government failed to fulfil their demands despite memorandum being submitted several times.
The All Assam Mandal Kanangu Sanmilani, formed in 1926, has about 3,250 members. Its central office is in Guwahati.
Kalita said, “The demands are not only related to benefits but those are also related to improvement of the working conditions in the revenue offices for better service delivery to the public.”
Kalita further said that because of non-fulfilment of their demands, the employees have been facing several difficulties while discharging their duties and this has delayed the public services also.
He said that the stir will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday and if the government does not respond to their demands, then in near future the Sanmilani will be compelled to undertake more severe forms of agitational programmes.
Framing of service rules for the employees of the department and bringing them under grade pay category by giving them the status of technical employees as “mandals, chainmen and kanangus job was of technical nature”, were among the other demands.
Filling up of the vacant posts and creating new posts of mandals were among the major demands of the Association, said Kalita.
There has been huge shortage of staff in the revenue offices across the State.
Kalita added that the Revenue Department staff have to perform various other duties and work as flood relief personnel and assist in magisterial inquires very often. This has also led to the shortage of staff at the offices, he added.
The president said that over the past 35 years, the Government had created many new districts, civil sub-divisions and revenue circles, but had not sanctioned additional staff members accordingly.
He said instead of providing motorbikes to mandals as recently announced by the government, the Sanmilani has demanded that one computer to each mandal should be allotted as there were shortage of computers in the offices which leads to delay in work completion.
Initiation of field survey for resettlement of land records (making new cadastral maps) was another demand of the Sanmilani. According to rules, the survey should be done after a gap of 30 years. In Assam, it was scheduled to be done in the 90s, but except a few districts the same was yet to be done.
Kalita said because of a lot of changes taking places in ownership of land owing to inheritance and buying and selling, new maps were required.
Raising the educational qualification to graduate level for mandal and kanangus was also an important demand of the Sanmilani.
He said that doing away with the practice of inter-district transfers of revenue department employees as the employees were more familiar with the areas under they were currently posted, which comes in handy in during deployment in flood and other disaster relief duty, was one their demands.