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TWAD board instructs EEs to ensure CWSS labourers get agreed upon salaries

Labourers claim that though their salaries are Rs 15,630 per month, they were only paid Rs 7,800 to Rs 8,800, which is against the agreement.

Published: 14th February 2022 11:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2022 11:12 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

TENKASI/TIRUNELVELI: Contract labourers working in the Combined Water Supply Schemes (CWSS) under the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board have been on a boil in Tenkasi and Tirunelveli for nearly 20 years now. With continuous protests, the TWAD Board, finally, passed an instruction to the Executive Engineers (EEs) of Tenkasi and Tirunelveli to ensure that the contract labourers are paid the agreed salary by the contractors.

This comes as a fruit of the 20-year-protest demanding salary as per the agreement. Last month, the labourers had conducted a sit-in protest for three days in front of the Superintending Engineer's (SE) office.

Following this, the SE Rajasehar, in his letter to Tirunelveli EE Mohammed Ali Jinnah Tenkasi EE K Gopal, instructed them to note down the number of employees engaged in various CWSSs, ensure that salaries are paid according to the agreement between the contractors and EEs.

Labourers claim that though their salaries are Rs 15,630 per month, they were only paid Rs 7,800 to Rs 8,800, which is against the agreement.

Mohammed Ali Jinnah, when asked about the implementation of SE's instructions, said arrangements were made to pay labourers their agreed salaries. However, K Gopal said he was not bound to ensure if contract labourers are paid or not, as he is overloaded with the project division.

"We cannot stress the contractors as they are helping the labourers in different ways. Contractors help the labourers when they fall ill," he said.

When TNIE contacted the CITU's Tirunelveli District Secretary R Mohan, who organised the sit-in protest, he said his union would stage a protest in front of the EEs office if the SE's instruction is not implemented soon. "We will also approach the labour court against the EEs who are not acting against the contractors," he said.

Mohan further claimed that an RTI reply that he obtained revealed that the contractors-EEs nexus is swindling about 150 labourers' salaries each month by using fake names. "This nexus is receiving salaries of those who are not working in the CWSSs of two districts," he claimed.



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