On the second last day of getting plots and colonies regularised, the applicants were a harried lot at the office of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) where the employees went on pen-down strike on Thursday.
The residents who came to get their plots or colonies regularised had to return empty-handed as employees first refused to accept their applications and later locks were put on the office gate by the protesting employees.
The employees who come under the purview of the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) said the strike would continue till their demands were met by the state government and the pen-down strike would continue on December 13 as well, the last day of the regularisation policy.
While policy dates are already over, the government is accepting applications till December 13 with a penalty of 10% on plots and 25% on colonies. Also, while there are only 300 illegal colonies falling under the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation where the regularisation process is going on smoothly, more than 1,700 fall under purview of GLADA where residents are facing many hurdles in the process.
Talking to Newsline, Rajinder Singh, convener of the Ludhiana branch of the PUDA Employees’ Taalmel Sangharsh Committee, said, “We have several demands. If they are not met, work will not be continued. Firstly, only half of employees get pension and others do not. The same is the condition of plot allotment for PUDA employees and only half of us have got plots till now. Forty-five employees on a daily basis and 30 on contract basis are still waiting for their regularisation. Extension of retirement age from 58 to 60 has still not been applied to PUDA.”
He added that either all these demands should be met at the earliest or 400 employees of GLADA would not return to work. “We will not let GLADA office open on Friday as well,” he said.
When contacted, GLADA chief administrator R K Verma said, “Without cooperation of employees, it is not possible to run the regularisation camp. Still, we have to find some other alternative for convenience of residents. All their demands are state-level and nothing is in my hands but let me see what alternative we can find for Friday as it is the last day of regularisation.”
GLADA estate officer R K Popli said that “applications of the people who came early in the morning were accepted before the office was locked due to the