Over 300 members of the service staff working for sports academies being run at the mega sports complex at Hotwar held a demonstration on Friday to demand immediate payment of salaries that are due since January.
Because of the demonstration, which began at 9.30am and continued till 3.30pm, gates 1 and 2 of the complex on the outskirts of the state capital were blocked. This meant that cadets of the sports academies could neither enter nor leave the complex during the time.
Vikrant Malhan, member (security) of Jharkhand State Sport Promotion Society (JSSPS) that runs the academies, said the staff, including sweepers, guards and gardeners, called off their agitation after state sports department officials assured them that their dues would be cleared in 10 days.
“Officials of the Sports Authority of Jharkhand (SAJHA) reached the venue and assured the staff that they would be paid within 10 days after which they called off the demonstration. There was no major disturbance,” Malhan claimed.
JSSPS was formed under the Societies Registration Act-1860 after the state sports department signed an MoU with PSU Central Coalfields (CCL) in June 2015 to run several sports academies and a sports university as an autonomous entity.
Currently, the academies are training over 200 children who have been selected on the basis of their talent from various parts of the country.
JSSPS chief executive officer Jitendera Tiwari said over Rs 5 crore was required to pay the salaries of the service staff.
Deputy director Jharkhand sports authority Ved Ratna claimed the delay was due to procedural lapses and pending paper work.
“The sports society gets funds from the state government and CCL. A lot of documentation is needed to access funds. Utilisation certificates of previous year’s fund have to be presented and approval of the state government is required to transfer funds to JSSPS. We hope to complete these formalities within 10 days,” Ratna said.
Manoj Prasad, an ex-serviceman who was leading Friday’s demonstration, said such delays were particularly bad for those with low salaries.
“While a private security guard gets Rs 11,425 a month, a sweeper or gardener is supposed to get Rs 7,000 a month. If this is not paid on time, there is bound to be resentment. The state government and CCL should complete the required paper work on time,” he told The Telegraph.