Chandigarh: In a move that aims at countering the ongoing pen-down strike by revenue staff in Punjab, the chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Saturday announced to fill all vacant posts of Patwaris and make biometric attendance mandatory for all the patwaris.
“This is the government of the people and the common man will not face any harassment due to whims and fancies of any agitation of the government officials” Mann said in a statement issued here.
The chief minister said that there were a total 3,660 posts of patwaris in the state out of which 1,623 were filled. However, he said that keeping in view larger public interest, the state government had now decided to fill 2,037, more posts of patwaris in a time bound manner. Divulging more details, Mann said that against these 2,037 posts, 741 patwaris who had already completed 15 months training out of the mandatory 18 months were immediately being put on duty as regular patwari in the field.
Likewise, Mann said that 710 patwaris had already been selected through a transparent recruitment process but they had not yet been given the appointment letters in wake of some pending formalities. He said that these necessary conditions would be fulfilled soon and the newly recruited patwaris would be handed over the appointment soon. Mann also further said that 586 posts of patwaris would also be advertised soon.
Taking strict cognisance of a trend amongst patwaris to hire some people for further carrying out their work, the chief minister announced that biometric attendance would be now compulsory for all patwaris.
It may be recalled that sticking to their stand the Punjab revenue staff had gone on an indefinite pen-down strike on Friday despite the warning of the chief minister Mann and the invocation of East Punjab Essential Services (Maintenance) Act (ESMA) barring all the government employees from leaving their place of posting till further orders.
However, softening their stand, they had said that they would only do the flood-related work in the patwar circle areas they were posted and not any other areas where circles where patwaris’ posts were lying vacant.
For the record, there are said to be about 4,700 revenue circles while patwaris are posted only in about 1,500 circles. The revenue staff leaders held that the government was forcing them to work more and was not willing to fill the vacancies.
They further held they were not going back on their decision on the indefinite strike whether the government invoked ESMA or any other provisions. Over 2,000 employees under the aegis of Revenue Patwar Union and Revenue Kanungo Association, had gone on the said strike from September 1 over an alleged corruption case registered against a patwari and a kanungo in Sangrur district recently.