Govt drivers in Haryana go on indefinite strike

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Chandigarh, Jan 25 (PTI) Some top bureaucrats in Haryanahad to hire private transport as the association of drivers ofvarious government departments today went on an indefinitestrike in support of their demands for correction of payanomalies and raising of perks.

The All Haryana Government and Semi-Government DriversAssociation, which has 4,500 regular members and 1,500contractual drivers as its members, have gone on strike, theAssociation''s President Pratap Singh Rana said here.

"In addition to pay anomalies correction, we aredemanding that our special pay (perks) be raised from Rs 300to atleast Rs 1,500 as it has not been raised since 1986,"Rana said.

He said barring the Chief Secretary, drivers of otherbureaucrats did not report for duty, due to which the Stategovernment''s officials including many Financial Commissionershad to hire private transport to reach their offices and to goto other places.

"Some Deputy Commissioners in districts had to useservices of roadways drivers," he claimed.

He also claimed that some ministers'' drivers also did notreport for duty today.

The Association members also held demonstrations atvarious places in the state including Panchkula, Gurgaon,Hisar and Karnal in support of their demands.

The drivers, many of them attached with ministers andsenior officers, went on strike despite the Haryana Governmentthreatening to take firm action against those who interfere inthe functioning of any public servant.

"Our demands are justified, but instead of acceptingthem, the Government is threatening us. But we are not goingtobudge," Rana, who is the driver of a senior bureaucrat, said.

Meanwhile, a Haryana Government spokesman said heretonight that the state government is considering certaindemands of the drivers.

In view of the strike call, all administrativeSecretaries, Heads of Departments and Deputy Commissioners inthe State have been directed to send daily attendance reportsof drivers to the government, he said.

They have also been asked to take appropriatedisciplinary action against those who abstain from duty orindulge in unlawful activities, he said.

The spokesperson said they have also been asked to getcriminal case registered against those drivers or individualswho take law in their hands and disrupt the smooth functioningof the Government offices.

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