On Thursday, an MLA staged dharna and got Rs. 10 crore released

While it was an MLA who staged a protest on Thursday in front of the Finance Department here demanding release of funds for his constituency, on Friday it was the turn of an MLC, accompanied by 50 teachers, to repeat the act.

Following in the footsteps of MLA M.P. Kumara Swamy, who staged a dharna on Thursday, a group of teachers, led by Puttanna, MLC from the Janata Dal(S), on Friday staged a protest in front of the Finance Department at the Vidhana Soudha seeking fulfilment of three major demands, including the release of UGC pay scale arrears for college teachers.

College and high school teachers took part in the dharna for nearly an hour in front of the office of L.V. Nagarajan, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance, demanding grant-in-aid for private schools and colleges opened between 1986-87 and 1994-95, payment of house rent allowance and city compensatory allowance for teachers of schools located in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike limits and release of UGC pay scale arrears to college teachers since 2006.

They threatened to continue the indefinite dharna if the government declined to provide concrete assurance on three major demands.

“All files related to our demands have been before Mr. Nagarajan for the last three months and action is yet to be taken,” one of the teachers alleged. Mr. Puttanna alleged that the government had announced providing grant-in-aid to all schools and pre-university colleges opened between 1986-87 and 1994-95, but announcements have remained only on paper.

Mr. Nagarajan said that nearly 200 schools and pre-university colleges have been left out of the grant-in-aid scheme. Nearly 700 schools and colleges have been provided grant-in-aid last year. Teachers of some high schools located in villages that merged with the BBMP in 2007 have not been given HRA and city compensatory allowances, he said.

“We will consider all three demands. But the Chief Minister has to take a final decision,” Mr. Nagarajan said.

On the other hand, Mudigere legislator Mr. Kumara Swamy managed to walk away with a Government Order sanctioning Rs. 10 crore for undertaking rural roads works in his constituency on Thursday.

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