Gangtok Smart City employees protest sudden termination from service

Gangtok, 11 Aug:

A section of employees terminated recently from the Gangtok Smart City project have protested the manner in which their employment was scratched in what they see as “grave injustice.” They have appealed to the State government to intervene in the matter and rescind the termination of their services.

It is informed that out of the 52 employees hired under the Gangtok Smart City project, 45 were served with termination orders on the evening of 07 August without any prior notice.

Addressing media persons here today, they said that all field supervisors, office assistants and office helpers have been removed from service and only junior engineers retained in the project.

Addressing a press conference here today, Suman Rai, one of the terminated employees informed that the CEO of Gangtok Smart City handed over the termination orders to 45 employees after the office order was issued at around 7 PM on 07 August.

“We were handed sudden termination orders without any prior notice that also after office hours. On enquiring about the reason for the sudden termination, we were informed that non-availability of funds to pay salaries forced this decision,” he said.

He today demanded that the CEO provide the reasons why funds are not available to even pay salaries. In keeping with the mood of the times, the protesting group has demanded a white paper.

“Smart City is the dream project of the Prime Minister, so we will approach him with this written document,” Mr Rai said when asked what they will do with the details they are seeking.

He also alleged that the officials have been mentally harassing them by constantly asking them for details of who recommended them for their jobs.

Mr Rai also alleged that political color was being added to the whole issue.

Binita Chettri, another terminated employee, added that when they were hired, their appointment letters said that their jobs will continue for the duration of the project - five years.

On the same, she asserted that if there were no funds, the Smart City Project itself should be stopped and wondered why the JEs were still being retained. Challenging the excuses being offered, she also asked how the project could function without office assistants or helpers or even field supervisors.

Likewise, Yogen Subba and Jasbir Limboo alleged “great injustice” over the manner in which they were removed and appealed to the State government to resolve the issue immediately “in the interest of the youth of Sikkim.”

“We are hopeful that with the new government we will get the justice,” they said.

Responding to media queries, they informed that they were appointed under the Gangtok Smart City project on recommendations in April last year and received appointment orders stating that their jobs will continue till the end of the project or until availability of funds.

“Non-availability of funds to pay salaries is just an excuse and there must be a conspiracy to replace us with other candidates,” they alleged.