State government’s approval to be sought to regularise their services

The Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) has decided to increase the salary of the 88 animal-keepers working on contract in the Mysore zoo and seek the State government’s approval to regularise their services.

Announcing this here on Friday, Chairman of the ZAK Maruthi Rao Pawar said some of these animal-keepers had put in about 17 years of service but were not being paid adequately.

The governing council of the ZAK, at its meeting here recently, decided to hike the salary of all contract workers. The salary hike would come into effect from April as the term of their annual contract ends in March.

He said the hike had been fixed based on the number of years in service.From April, the contract workers would get a salary of Rs. 10,000 (for 13 people who have put in 13 to 17 years of service), Rs. 9,000 (21 workers with 10 to 13 years of service), Rs. 8,000 (16 workers with eight to 10 years of service), Rs. 7,250 (28 workers with five to eight years of service) and Rs. 6,500 (for 10 workers with less than five years of service), he said. “I spoke to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar in Suttur on Thursday on the issue of regularising their services. Minister in charge of Mysore district S.A. Ramdas has responded positively to the request,” he said.

There would be an additional burden of Rs. 78,000 a month on the zoo management following the salary hike.

The ZAK had submitted draft cadre and recruitment (C and R) rules for appointment of employees in zoos. The ZAK has sent a list of 457 posts in various zoos for immediate appointment based on the C and R rules.

Mr. Pawar said the proposal to hike the entry fee to the zoo from Rs. 40 to Rs. 50 had been turned down. The hike was proposed as the zoo’s revenue was expected to come down by Rs. 1.5 crore this year owing to a fall in tourist arrivals following protests over the Cauvery issue. In 2011-12, nearly 30.33 lakh tourists visited the zoo and in 2012 (till December), the zoo had attracted 24.69 lakh tourists.