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Revenue clerks stage mass agitation in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Thousands of clerks under the banner of Odisha Rajaswa Amala Sangha (ORAS) staged a mass demonstration in the Capital city on Friday protesting the Naveen Patnaik-led government’s apathy towards their longstanding 4-point charter of demands.

The clerical staff of Odisha Revenue department gathered at the Lower PMG square here demanding fulfilment of various demands including special cadre restructuring, increase in basic pay to Rs 9,300, abolition of contractual appointment and 75 per cent reservation in promotion. They have threatened to go on a mass leave for an indefinite period from May 5 if their demands are not met.

“Reservation should be provided for employees of Odisha Revenue department out of which 75 per cent must be reserved for the clerical staff. Besides, the contractual appointment system by the State government should be completely abolished as it is illegal,” said general secretary of ORAS, Naresh Chandra Mohapatra.

Besides Bhubaneswar, revenue department clerks have been observing cease-work since May 1 in various offices across Odisha including Balasore, Phulbani, Keonjhar and Rairangpur.

The State-wide stir has affected services like registration and issue of land records, preparation of bills for contract works, marriage registration, and maintenance of revenue and tax records among others.

“We had expected to admit our children in schools but now have lost interest as we are not able to get the Birth Certificate, Income and Residence Certificates needed for that purpose,” said a resident of Nabarangpur, Miri Bhatra.

In response to the agitation of the revenue clerks, Revenue Minister Maheswar Mohanty said, “The government is sympathetic towards the demand of the revenue department clerks. One of their demands to change the basic employment criteria from matriculation to graduation has been fulfilled. The revenue department has also submitted its suggestions near the general administration department for fulfilment of rest of the demands which is now under consideration by the government.”

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