Mangaluru, Apr 14, 2018 : The staff at Mangalore One centres have been venting their frustration against the government by curtailing services, the citizens of Mangaluru are made to face the brunt. The staff have slowed down work visibly, demanding minimum wages, and protesting non-payment to staff who have worked in the organization for six months.
With the introduction of Mangalore One centres, people had gotten used to single interface for at least 30 citizen-centric services, including KSRTC, water tax, RTO, online bill payment, and police verification. But with the staff denying services, citizens are pushed to the bygone era of standing in queues at multiple places for payment of a single service.
“I visited the bank thrice since morning. There were around 70 people in the queue the first time. It was the same even during my second visit. Even after making the payment now, I was made to visit another office at the Mangaluru City Corporation(MCC), to get the seal. Mangalore One was a single window system. The work would get over within minutes,” rued, a pensioner, who wanted to pay house tax.
A housewife, felt helpless as she had to return without being able to pay the electricity bill of her house. The staff of Mangalore One said they had genuine reasons to reduce the pace of their work.
“We haven’t stopped work completely. We have been following a ‘Go Slow Policy’. We accept bills once in a while,” said a staff at the Mangalore One office situated in the MCC building, adding that they are exercising their right to work for only the salary they get.
Manohar Shetty, district president of INTUC, told TOI that the staff is supposed to get a minimum salary of Rs 14,114 per month. However, they have been getting only Rs 5,500. The Mangalore One staff have taken the matter to court.
Batting for the protestors, Shashiraj, state secretary, INTUC, said the staff members at Mangalore One are following a policy called ‘earn while you learn’. “There are staff members who have been working for nine years under this policy. They have been getting a meagre pay of around Rs 5,500. I hope the government addresses this issue before it gets worse,” he said.
The staff also alleged that the government officials had hired goons to evict them, but they did not give in to the pressure.
To make things worse, Mescom has cut power supply to the Mangalore One offices at Surathkal and Lalbagh, for non-payment of bills. The outstanding electricity bill for the Surathkal branch is Rs 1,12,000 and for the Lalbagh branch it is Rs 1,98,000.
“When the parent company CMS doesn’t pay the electricity bills, how do we expect it to adhere to our demands?” Shetty asked.