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OTDC employees to paralyse Pantha Nivas

Written by: Staff

Bhubaneswar, Sep 19 (UNI) More than 400 employees of the state-owned Orissa Tourism Development Corporation(OTDC) today decided to case work and paralyse the functioning of all the 22 Pantha Nivas across the state, if the government did not concede to their two- point charter of demands.

OTDC Employees Union president Naba Mohanty told newspersons here that the employees would stop the work from September 28, if the government did not withdraw its decision to privatise the OTDC and pay salary to the employees as per the recommendations of the 5th pay Commission.

Mr Mohanty said the union took the extreme step as the government though decided in principle in 1999 to give salary as per the recommendation of the fifth pay commission and fix the service condition had failed to implement it so far.

He said since 1992, the corporation was making profit due to the partial participation of employees in its management. But despite the profit, the government, in collaboration with the DFID was trying to privatise the corporation, Mr Mohanty alleged.

The DFID, Mr Mohanty said, had given a proposal to convert the Pantha Nivas in Samablpur, Bhubaneswar, Chandipur into star hotels in the first phase through privatisation and the rest in the subsequent phases.

He alleged conspiracy in privatising the Pantha Nivas after forcing them to incur losses. The OTDC, Mr Mohanty said, had already suffered losses to tune of Rs one crore due to the planned closure of Puri Pantha Nivas and Mahodadhi Nivas.

He said it was unfortunate to close down the Puri Pantha Nivas when it was doing good business. The business turnover of the Pantha Nivas was also increasing every year. The total turnover of the Pantha Nivas, Mr Mohanty said, went up from Rs 578.87 lakh in 2002-03 to Rs 1122.06 lakh in 2006-07 as most of the middle and lower middle class tourists preferred them.

He alleged that if the privatisation policy of the government was implemented,it would affect tourism industry in Orissa.


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