Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the state government would formulate an appropriate policy to redress the demands of around 6300 Jal Rakshak (Water Guards) working in the Panchayati Raj department since year 2006.
The Chief Minister, who was presiding over the function of Jal Rakshak Sangh at Shimla today, said that government was very considerate about their demands and problems and every effort would be made to enhance their honorarium and give other benefits.
He said the Jal Rakshaks have been serving with great responsibility in the rural areas but they were not getting honorarium as per their hard work.
However, without getting any demand from the Jal Rakshak Union, their honorarium was enhanced by Rs. 400 in the first budget, which shows the concern of the state government towards their welfare.
Jai Ram Thakur assured the Jal Rakshak that the demands of the Jal Rakshak including regularisation of those
completing twelve years of service would be considered sympathetically and a proper policy would be prepared which would be presented in the coming budget session of Vidhan Sabha.
He said that the state government was working relentlessly from day one for welfare of the sections of the society and a new direction had been given to ensure all-round and speedy development of the state.
He said initiatives had been taken in sectors like horticulture, water harvesting and tourism to generate employment and self-employment opportunities besides enabling the farmers to double their income.
Speaking on the occasion, Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh Thakur said the government would consider giving more responsibility to Jal Rakshak in implementation of the schemes of the department.
He said with the efforts of the Chief Minister, the government of India has sanctioned two major projects for the state amounting to Rs. 5551 crores for water harvesting and augmentation irrigation schemes which were started before year 2000.
President of the Jal Rakshak Sangh Baliram Sharma raised the demands of the Union and thanked the Chief Minister for enhancing the honorarium of the Jal Rakshak.
Later, the Chief Minister also held a meeting with the representatives of the Jal Rakshak Union in his office to discuss their demands in detail. Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Anil Khachi, Secretary IPH Devesh Kumar and Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Dr. R.N Batta and other senior officers of the IPH and Panchayati Raj department were also present in the meeting.
The Chief Minister directed the officers concerned to examine the demands and take necessary action so that the best possible respite could be given to the Jal Rakshaks keeping in view the valuable services they were rendering.>