The protesting patwaris and kanungos are pushing for rationalisation of their salaries, filling of vacancies in Punjab revenue department and withdrawal of a corruption case against their colleague
Work in the Punjab revenue department came to a standstill as patwaris and kanungos moved on a statewide three-day mass casual leave on Wednesday to push for rationalisation of their salaries and other pending demands.
There are at least 1,700 patwaris and 500 kanungos serving in the state revenue department. Their other main demands are fresh recruitment of patwaris against the vacant posts and withdrawal of a corruption case registered against their colleague in Malerkotla.
According to Mohan Singh, general secretary of the state kanungo association, even as there are at least 3,000 posts of patwari vacant in the state, 1,090 patwaris recruited during the previous government’s tenure have not received their joining letters yet.
Jasbir Singh, president of the patwari union, sought rationalisation of their salaries, adding that a patwari in Malerkotla had been wrongfully booked in a corruption case. He demanded that the case against the official, identified as Didar Singh, be withdrawn and he be allowed to resume duty.
Jasbir Singh said patwaris are working on just 30% of the sanctioned posts, which makes joining of the newly recruited patwaris essential. He said the union had met the chief minister a fortnight ago, who had promised to accept all their demands, but the issues are still pending.
The union chief warned of extending the mass leave in the coming week if their demands were not met within three days.
A senior revenue officer, who did not wish to be named, said the government was seized of the matter and would resolve it at the earliest. However, on the issue of corruption case, he said that there was tangible evidence against the patwari concerned and the government will take a call on the matter.