The meeting of various Departments called by Project Director of Attappady Hill Area Development Society (AHADS) Krishna Dev Prasad Sahu was abandoned mid-way due to opposition from people’s representatives and tribal organizations at Agali on Wednesday.
Attappady Block Panchayat President M.R. Sathyan protested against the holding of the meeting despite Election Commission direction to keep in abeyance the Government order winding up the operations of AHADS and the retrenchment of 160 employees.
A tribal organisation took out a protest march to AHADS office demanding to call off the meeting held to discuss measures to dismantle AHADS.
The officials of AHADS held the meeting for working out formalities for implementing Government order for winding up the institution.
Chief Electoral Officer of Kerala, Nalini Netto, had ordered the State government to keep its order of March 1, 2001 (on the day election to Assembly was declared) to wind up AHADS Project in Attappady Hills.
She issued the order on March 6, 2011 and directed the Additional Chief Secretary (Local Self Government Department) to keep the implementation of the G.O on AHADS “in abeyance until further orders” on a complaint from AHADS Staff Welfare Association.
The Election Commission stay came when the G.O (No. M.S-742011LSGD) was under implementation in AHADS.
As per the G.O steps were taken to retrench as many as 160 of the 274 employees, a majority of them from tribal communities. The terminations and retentions were done without following any rules, the Staff Welfare Association had complained.
They pointed out that the project is being wound up when Rs.8 crore was allotted in the State Budget for it.
AHADS was started for the implementation of Rs.219 crore eco- restoration and tribal development programme with financial assistance from Japan International Co-operation Agency in 1996.
Though the project period was only 10 years it was extended. Still some more works have to be completed.
So the tribal organizations like Girijan Sevak Samithy demanded its continuation since it is a model project for eco-restoration and tribal development.