By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 4: “The preparation for water supply by the Guwahati Jal Board (GJB) is nearing completion. However, it has fallen short of clarity on taking the staff of other organizations supplying water in the city,” alleged secretary of the Workers’ Association of Assam Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Board (AUWSSB) Arupjyoti Das.
Talking to this reporter today, Das said: “The AUWSSB, which was formed in 1989 for supplying potable water to the people of Guwahati and other cities of the state, is carrying out 28 of its 58 schemes in the state. There are 426 employees working in these schemes. The Zoo Tiniali water supply scheme in Guwahati division of the board has the highest revenue among all the schemes. However, of late, the GJB has taken this scheme with its 105 employees working in it without any official notice from the government and any Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the GJB and the AUWSSB.”
Das also said: “This has made the matter messy. Our workers get their payment from the revenue collected from all the schemes. As many as 105 of our employees, including 89 temporary workers, have been taken by the GJB as workers on deputation. However, it remains to be made clear if the GJB will pay payments to the 105 workers from its exchequer. This apart, the GJB hasn’t informed us whether they will keep these employees with them permanently or not. We’re a confused lot on the payment and future of the 105 employees.”
Das said: “We have filed an RTI application to our Maging Director and the GJB on last March 11, 2015 seeking information regarding the takeover of our staff, their salaries and future. However, we’re yet to get any response.”
According to Das, around 45 per cent of the revenue of AUWSSB comes from the Guwahati Zoo Tiniali Scheme that has around 8,000 connections, and the number is going to rise. Das also said that there is no board meeting in the past three years.
GJB MD Amit Sahai, on the other hand, said: “At present we don’t have any post created in our board and the employees who are working now in our board will be paid by us. When the posts will be created, we will recruit people according to our requirement.”
In Guwahati Metropolitan city three departments – Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), Assam Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Board (AUWSSB) and the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) – supply water. The existing setups cater to needs of water to around 30 per cent residents of the city. Besides of the supplied water, the households use ground-water and the water supplied through tankers.