Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Amid the ongoing several protests by various organisations seeking fulfillment of their demands, members of the Rural Water Supply Workers’ Association on Monday joined the bandwagon by trying to gherao Naveen Niwas, the residence of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Demanding salary as per their initial agreement with the State government, the members of the association have been sitting on a protest at the Lower PMG square in Bhubaneswar for the last 38 days.

As per reports, hundreds of activists of the association took out a rally with placards, shouted slogans against the State government and staged demonstration in front of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s residence yesterday to draw the attention of the State administration and put forth their demands.

Subsequently, a team of representatives of the association reportedly met the Chief Minister and submitted a memorandum.

However, the members of the association have threatened to intensify their agitations if their demands are not fulfilled at the earliest.

“We are providing utility services in all the villages across the State by running the water pumps and providing water to almost every house. We work every day without the exception of a holiday whole round the year. We have to remain alert for nearly 16 hours a day, but we get a meagre allowance of Rs 2,000 from the Gram Panchayat per month,” rued Baikunthanath Sahu, General Secretary of the Rural Water Supply Workers’ Association.

“We demand block grant salary as per the initial agreement with the State government. We have been protesting near Lower PMG Square for the last 38 days. But the State administration seems to be in oblivion about our ordeal. We will intensify our protests in the near future if our demands are not met at the earliest,” said Sahu.
(Edited by Pradeep Singh)