Horticulture staff on agitation in Orissa

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Bhubaneswar, May 15 (UNI) Eighteen hundred technical horticulture employees of the state have resolved to go on an agitation from June 29 if authorities did not fulfil their five-point charter of demands.

The demands, included taking back the 198 village agriculture workers to the Agriculture department, merging the posts of gardener, grafter, field technicians into one cadre and renaming it either as Village Horticulture Worker or Panchayat Horticulture Officer, set the minimum qualification for the post at Class XII in Science stream and provide Travelling Allowance(TA) to horticulture technical employees.

The Association leader said the promotion avenues of the employees were blocked after the 198 village Agriculture workers were taken to the horticulture department in 1998.

Though a high-level committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary decided in December 2007 to return the 198 VAW back to their parent organisation it had not been implemented so far.

State Non-gazetted Technical Horticulture Employees Association General Secretary Sridhar Mishra said the decision to agitate was taken at an emergency meeting of the association on May 11 here.

Mr Mishra said employees would wear black badges from May 26 - June 7 and all employees of the district would submit memorandum to the chief minister through their horticulturists in support of their demand from June 9 to 13.

If the government did not concede to their demand, they would resort to agitational path from June 29 onwards, he said.

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