2500 Uttarakhand Forest Development Corp. workers await pending wages

Some of these workers have been surviving on just a single meal a day since the lockdown.

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Over 2500 employees and workers of the Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation are awaiting their wages, which have been pending for over two months now.

The pending wages will cost the organisation at least about Rs 3 crore. Most of these workers have been employed to fell trees and remove the dead trees from the forests. This felling activity, approved by the state forest department, is carried out from January to June every year.

According to the managing director of the Corporation, the budget of over Rs 15 crore for disbursing wages has already been allocated, and the workers should receive their pending dues soon.

With work being suspended in March, during the lockdown, workers have been struggling to survive and fight starvation.

Over 1500 employees of the Corporation have not been paid their salaries since April.

The distraught workers plan to protest and organise agitations if their dues are not cleared by May 25.

It is not just the workers of the Forest Development Corporation of Uttarakhand that are facing hardships due to non-payment of salaries. Ealrier this month, the Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHA workers of the state also raised their voices against non-payment of wages. Some of these ASHA workers have not received their salaries since November, 2019.

The state has more than 12,000 ASHA workers,who, along with doctors and health workers, have been helping fight the coronavirus pandemic from the frontline.

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