Jammu: Dozens of workers on Monday staged a protest against the alleged highhandedness of contractors engaged by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
Over 100 workers struck work and staged a peaceful sit-in near Salal Dam, also known as Salal Hydroelectric Power Station, to lodge protest against the local contractors for threatening to terminate their services for raising genuine demands of the employees, the officials said.
They said the workers were also agitated over the dictatorial attitude of the NHPC administration and threatened to intensify the agitation if their demands are not met.
A senior NHPC officer, along with police and civil officers, visited the protesters and vainly tried to persuade them to return to the work but the protesting workers sought a direct meeting with the general manager of the NHPC before calling off their sit-in.
I have been working as a fitter in the NHPC for the last over a decade and have been running from pillar to post for the sanctioning of residential quarters for the past two years. Nobody is listening to us and the local contractor only knows how to threaten the workers, a protesting worker said.
Another worker claimed that several employees were ousted for raising their rightful demands over the past few weeks.
Sanjeev Singh, a local sarpanch who joined the protesters, said the NHPC has given a free hand to contractors ignoring the fact it is the villagers who provided their land for the prestigious project.
We want resolution of the problems being faced by the workers instead of threatening and terminating their services. We will raise the issue with the deputy commissioner and will ensure that all the genuine demands of the workers are fulfilled as soon as possible, he said.
Political activist Rumail Singh demanded cancellation of the contract of those contractors who are allegedly misbehaving with the workers.
Among other demands, the workers are seeking their regularisation, safety allowance, payment for extra work and residential quarter facility.