BSP memorials staff leaving job for better pay packets
(Lucknow) · 10 May 2016
M Tariq Khan
Working to ensure the upkeep of BSP memorials no longer seems to be a lucrative proposition for the employees of the maintenance and management committee set up exclusively for the purpose during former chief minister Mayawati’s regime.
More than 200 technical and clerical staff has resigned and taken up odd jobs in other government departments in the last year or so alone and the trend seems to be catching up. The 5,789 strong memorial force tasked to guard and look after seven signature monuments and parks built by the BSP chief in Lucknow and Noida now has 1,252 vacancies, according to an official of the management committee. `9,000 looked a decent salary in 2010 for a cook, 21 of which were hired to prepare meal for guests putting in the VIP suites of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Guest House. It is another matter these cooks never got the opportunity to even serve tea to visitors because of political change of guard in the state in 2012. “Most of those who have resigned are electricians after Madhyanchal Vidyut Nigam announced vacancies and held a recruitment drive last year. They are now working with on better paypackets and, obviously, have job security also,” the official pointed out. Some other clerical staff followed suit when the state government held exams for filling up vacancies under group C posts. “We are not paid perks and benefits which a regular government employee gets,” said an employee posted at Bhim Rao Ambedkar Memorial in Gomti Nagar adding that this was the main reason why employees were quitting. Soon after coming to power, one of the first decisions of the Samajwadi Party government in 2012 was to appoint a panel to trim down the jumbo workforce appointed during the outgoing BSP regime for the maintenance of these memorials and parks. It is another matter that the ruling party never implemented the recommendation of this panel to cut down the staff strength from 5,789 to 565, apparently, because of the political fallout the move could trigger in the state. The committee had also suggested that the excess employees could also be transferred to other government departments where there was a dearth of staff. “Some 300 to 400 employees were shortlisted and were to be shifted to other departments but then the move was shelved,” confirmed another official on the management committee. The SP government still continues to shell out around Rs 117 crore each year to pay for the salaries of this staff, guarding and maintaining these BSP landmarks. Mayawati had created a Rs 200 crore corpus fund with the instructions that the interest accrued on it should be utilised for the maintenance of memorials.