PUNE: There is a possibility that those staying in rural parts of the country may get their letters late, as Grameen Dak Sevaks (GDS) attached to rural post offices have gone on indefinite strike across the country from Tuesday demanding fulfilment of their pending demands by the Central government.
Ganesh V Sawaleshwarkar, Postmaster General of Pune Region said they have asked existing staff to double up to fulfil the responsibilities carried out by postmen in rural areas. Sawaleshwarkar said services in some rural areas may get hampered and expressed his helplessness. In Pune division including the east and west zones, there are 1,300 GDS who have gone on indefinite strike.
Sawaleshwarkar said, “Today 40 per cent of postmen from all over India are on strike and it has a tremendous effect in rural areas on delivery of post. To resolve this, we have asked postmen to do extra work.”
Rajendra Karpe, Assistant Circle Secretary of National Union of Gramin Dak Sevak (NUGDS) told Sakal Times, “The major demands include that 50 per cent of our dearness allowance should be merged into basic pay and we should get status of permanent employees and facilities under Seventh Pay Commission be granted to us.” He said GDS accounted for 70 per cent of staff working for Indian Postal Department. He said that despite having large numbers, GDS are treated as extra departmental staff. He said their starting salary is Rs 4,500 and by the time they retire they draw Rs 10,000 per month.
Sanjay Jagtap, President of NUGDS said, “We end up working 10 to 12 hours a day. Apart from doing our regular postal duties, we are also responsible for disbursing Centre and State governments’ pension schemes.”
- There are 20 to 25 sub-offices of postal department in city
- In rural area, there are 1.2 lakh offices
- Out of 5 lakh postmen, 2.7 lakh are GDS