Mumbai: City zonal officers yet to get paid for poll duties

Mumbai: The elections for the 17th Lok Sabha commenced on April 2019 and went on for over a month. The results were declared in May and now it has been over two months of the new government being sworn in.

However, the government employees in Mumbai, who worked tirelessly for over two months, are yet to get their remunerations. In fact, these employees, who were appointed as ‘zonal officers’ have been asked to be contented with Rs 1,500 a ‘fixed’ amount for their duties each on voting and result’s day.

These officers who are employees of the city civic body, the public works department and other such government offices, however, are yet to be paid the ‘promised’ remuneration of the two months work, they performed.

“People voted and they got their parliamentarians, the country got its PM but we, who worked day-in and day-out for two continuous months for more than eight hours a day have not got anything.

The government had promised us to pay a basic amount for our two months work but we haven’t received a penny yet,” said a civic officer, who was deputed as a zonal officer.

According to these officers, the government had issued a notification by which it had resolved to pay a basic amount to all of these zonal officers.

“As per the notification, if we calculate, our remuneration or the basic amount should be nearly Rs 50,000 owing to our positions. However, we have not been given anything yet,” another officer said, requesting anonymity.

The Free Press Journal contacted the assisting returning officer (during the polls), who is the deputy collector of suburban Mumbai, to cross-check the allegations.

The response could surprise anyone as the deputy collector himself has not received any such remuneration yet. “What can I do? I myself have not got any payment for the work yet but I have not complained about it.

I think the process has been commenced by the government,” said Dnyaneshwar Khutwad, the suburban deputy collector. Khutwad further added, “But it is not so as if these officers have not been paid at all.

They have been given Rs 1,500 the fixed amount which has been paid to all the zonal officers and other staff for their two days of poll duties.” On the contrary, the zonal officers have termed this Rs 1,500 as a pittance.

“This is just pittance. We are being paid an amount which is given as a daily wage to a labourer even they would be getting a handsome pay,” a zonal officer said.

“We are demanding the payment only because the govt had duly notified it. At least we should be told if they are going to pay or not,” the zonal officer, added.