CUTTACK: Health and Family Welfare Minister Niranjan Pujari was left in an awkward situation after he was gheraoed by contractual staff of Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer (AHPGIC), who were demanding regularisation of their jobs.
The incident occurred when Pujari was coming out of the institute after attending its governing body (GB) meeting at around 12.30 pm. The agitators alleged the state government is apathetic towards their demand of regularising the service of 191 contractual paramedical staff including nursing officer, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and X-Ray technicians.
“Even though the system of contractual appointment has already been abolished since October 16, 2022, the state government is neither regularising our service nor enhancing our salary,” alleged the contractual staff, some whom held placards and lay on the road as part of the protest on the premises of the institute.
Pujari told the staff that his department’s secretary had already held discussions with officials of Finance department and necessary steps would be taken to redress their grievance. The contractual paramedical staff however threatened to take to the streets if their services are not regularised within a week. The minister who was detained for about half-an-hour later had to walk out of the AHPGIC in police cordon. Meanwhile, several important decisions were taken at the general body meeting of the hospital including its expansion and development to ensure better healthcare and deal with rising inflow of patients.
“The problem of space crunch has been resolved to some extent after the new building became functional. While steps are being taken to increase the number of beds to 1,000, efforts are on to fill up vacancies as soon as possible,” said Pujari, adding new vehicles would be given to the institute under Mahaprayan Yojana soon.