Contract workers working in barges receive delayed wages since a year in Hassan

Residents to stage a protest on behalf of the workers if they were not paid their dues before September 20

September 09, 2022 07:18 pm | Updated 07:18 pm IST - Hassan

The contract labourers working in the barges that commute passengers in Sharavathi backwaters have not been paid salary for last one year.

The contract labourers working in the barges that commute passengers in Sharavathi backwaters have not been paid salary for last one year. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The casual labourers hired by the Department of Ports and Inland Water Transport to operate barges that help residents of villages in the Sharavahi backwaters of Sagar taluk have not got salaries for the last one year.

The residents of Karuru and Barangi hobli in the taluk have decided to stage a protest on behalf of the workers if the workers were not paid their dues before September 20.

The Department of Ports and Inland Water Transport operates barges to ferry regular passengers and tourists. The barges are made available at three locations – Hasirumakki, Muppane and Holebagilu. The barge at Hasirumakki ferry passengers commuting between Nittur and Sagar, one at Muppane help travel between Jog and Sigandur and the two at Holebagilu help the tourists reaching Sigandur from Sagar.

G.T. Satyanarayana, Janapara Horata Vedike president, told The Hindu that the staff members had been told not to speak to the media about the delay in salaries. “Last year, their salaries were delayed by eight months. When we raised the demand on their behalf, they got their salaries during the Ganapati festival last year. Since then, they have not got salaries for the last 12 months,” he said.

The department hired 17 people to operate the barges. They work as gatekeepers, ticket collectors and also manage the crowd, besides monitoring vehicle parking on the barge. They get about ₹10,000 to ₹12,000 per month. As they are all from local agricultural families, somehow they could manage all these months with other family sources. “As the officers have silenced them, we have decided to raise voice on their behalf,” said Satyanarayana.

The members of Janapara Horata Vedike, Kagodu Horata Vedike, Holebagilu Taxi Drivers and Owners Association and Karuru hobli unit of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike have decided to stop all barges on September 22 and stage a protest.

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