The strike by daily wagers working in the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department continued for the 19th day today, affecting water supply to many parts of the city and other areas.
The workers protesting under the banner of All J&K PHE, ITI-Trained and CP Workers Association are demanding regularisation of their service and better wages.
Wards of protesting workers also joined the strike today. Dozens of children joined the protest at the PHE office on the BC Road to pressure the state government to regularise services of their parents.
Several parts of the city are facing shortage of drinking water for the last 19 days.
Though the PHE Department claimed that permanent staff members were entrusted with the additional duty of ensuring proper supply, the shortage of water has made it difficult for the people to maintain their daily chores.
Tanveer Hussain, provincial president of the association, alleged that the state government was discriminating against the daily wagers of the Jammu region, due to which common man was facing problems. He alleged that Rs 1,116 crore released for ITI-trained workers was meant only for Kashmir.
“Out of the total amount released, only Rs 287 crore has been kept for daily wagers in Jammu, while the rest of the money has been kept for the Valley,” Hussain alleged.
“We are not responsible for the problems of people, but the state is deliberately doing it for political reasons,” he said.
The protesting workers are demanding regularisation of their service and payment of wages in time. The PHE workers are also seeking formation of Departmental Promotion Committee at the earliest.
Meanwhile, reports from different PHE divisions and sub-divisions of Jammu, Samba, Rajouri, Reasi, Udhampur, Doda, Kathua and other parts of the region stated that water supply had been affected by the workers’ strike and people were facing hardships.