Port Blair, Oct. 3: The Member of Parliament, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Shri. Kuldeep Rai Sharma has taken up several grievances of the Mazdoor of the Department of Environment and Forest, A&N Administration with the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Andaman & Nicobar Administration for an early settlement.

The issues are as follows:

Cadre management of industrial employees by invoking conducts and disciplinary proceedings

(a)   Iit has been brought to the notice by the Andaman Forest Employees Unions’ of different forest divisions of the department of environment and forests of A&N Administration, affiliated with the Indian National Trade Union Congress that the conduct of the Mazdoor on regular industrial establishment working in various forest divisions of the forest department are being controlled by invoking the provisions contained under the industrial standing orders certified under section 5 (3) of the industrial employment (Standing orders) Act ,1946 with necessary notification(s) under section 5(2) of the said act. The existing certified standing orders being referred/quoted in the service matters of the regular Mazdoor and other similar cadres have been notified between 1970 & 1976.

(b)  That, while accepting the recommendations of  the report of 6th  CPC the Ministry of Personnel, Public grievances  and Pension,  Department of Personnel and Training Govt. of India has been pleased to issue office memorandum vide No.AB-14017/6/2009-Estt(RR) dated 30.04.2010 and formulated model recruitment rule for group ‘C’ posts in pay band-1 with grade pay Rs1800/- ( pre-revised group  ‘D’ posts) According to the said memorandum all the group ‘D’ posts have been placed in group ‘C’ pay band -1 with grade pay of Rs. 1800/-  The minimum qualification for appointment to the above pay level- will be either 10th pass or ITI equivalent, as per the memorandum issued by the Ministry. The Mazdoor appointed and working in the forest department and do not possess the required qualification prior to the approval of 6th CPC has undergone prescribed training/classes to amend the existing RR of Mazdoor and other categories of employees promoted from the post of Mazdoor considering seniority and merit of trade test etc. On their passing the training and tests their pay has been upgraded and fixed under Pay band-1 with grade pay of Rs.1800/-  as per the recommendations of the 6th CPC. and brought them to the category of group ‘C’ employees.

(c)   That, after 6th CPC all the appointments of Mazdoor are made and their pay have been fixed under the provisions of FR&SR and pension cases are settled under CCS(Pension) Rules, 1972 including leave encashment on retirement. The Mazdoor of the forest department is subscribing to the GPF under CCS (GPF) Rules, 1960. Whereas only in the matter(s) of conduct and disciplinary proceedings the industrial employees standing orders are followed, which have been certified and notified during the year 1970s.

(d)  That, the article 311 of the constitution of India has guaranteed protection to the govt. employees and a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of the charges/allegations levelled against the employee to be given. Whereas the provisions have been given in the certified standing orders of all the forest divisions in the matter of conduct and disciplinary proceedings under sub-head “proceedings for disciplinary proceedings/enquires” do not have ample opportunities as guaranteed by the constitution of India to a government employee/servant.

(e)   That, since the categories of industrial employees and similar cadres of the forest department working under the functional and non-functional forest divisions (13 divisions) have been upgraded from group D” to group “C” as per the decision taken by the GOI in the 6th CPC report subsequently and their service matters are dealt and considered treating them as group “C” employees except the conduct and disciplinary proceedings as stated above.

(f)   That, therefore, it is necessary to take action at your end to substitute the existing “certified standing orders” of all forest divisions with the CCS (Conduct) Rules,1964 and CCS(CCA) Rules,1965 so that the employees shall get appropriate justice in settling their service matters.            

Filing up of vacant posts of forest divisions

(a)   That, applications were invited from the eligible local youths of A&N Islands to fill up 112 vacant posts of regular Mazdoor on industrial establishment of the South Andaman Forest Division during the year 2014.Accordingly a numbers of applications have been submitted by the unemployed and penurious candidates, but the follow-up action in this matter is under pending finalization with the competent authorities since 2014.  In a meeting of the Andaman Forest Employees Union South Andaman held on 11.09.2022 at Wimberlygunj it was informed that between 2014 and 2022 about 43 posts of Mazdoor on regular industrial establishment have fallen vacant due to superannuation retirements.  Now the number of posts of regular Mazdoor lying vacant in South Andaman forest division is 155, apart from this the posts of Cook and safaiwala of Mount Harriet Guest house is also lying vacant

(b)  That, similarly the position of vacant posts of Mazdoor on regular industrial establishment in Baratang forest Division is 36, Middle Andaman Division is 136, Mayabunder Division is 95 posts, Nicobar division (Campbell bay) is 92 posts, Diglipur Division is 71 posts   and WildLife Division Port Blair is 63 posts.

Appointment/ recruitments of Mazdoor on regular industrial establishment is to be centralized

That, if the appointment/ recruitments of all posts lying vacant in different forest divisions are centralized the delay to fill up the vacant posts of Mazdoor and other similar posts could be evaded. The appointments on compassionate grounds and handicap quota etc. are being done by the office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests A&N Islands and the selected candidates are being sent to the respective forest divisions (employers) to join there. The recruitment to the posts of MTS vacant/created in the Forest department are also made by the A&N administration by the centralized procedures and the selected candidates are being directed to different departments of the A&N Administration including forest department. Therefore the recruitment to the vacant post of Mazdoor on regular industrial establishment of different functional and nonfunctional forest divisions (13 divisions) of department of environment and forests A&N Administration is to be centralized.   

Enhancement of wages at the rate of 1/30th on minimum relevant pay level to the DRMs on continuous service of forest division Little Andaman and subscriptions under the scheme of E.P.F

(a) That, in order to undertake the post tsunami operations/rehabilitation works  entrusted by the A&N Administration in Little Andaman Island about 45 Mazdoor on daily wages were appointed and engaged by the Divisional forest officer Little Andaman with effect from 24.10.2005.In the process of appointment to the post of Mazdoor on regular establishment undertaken by the DFO Little Andaman the cases of 20 DRMs were considered for regular appointment out of the 45 DRM engaged during the year  2005.The remaining DRMs have been granted the benefits of enhancement of wages on 1/30th  of the minimum relevant pay scale plus DA and  three cases of DRMs working since 2005 are left out for grant of the benefits under the scheme of 1/30th of the wages and they are  (1) Shri Emil Barwa S/o Patras Barwa (2) Shri Pavan Ram S/o Rudho Gwala and (3) Smti Jini John w/o Shri John. The Hon’ble Lt. Governor (Administrator) A&N Islands has been pleased to order the enhancement of wages of DRMs working in different department of the A&N Administration since last several years prior to 01.09.2017 vide Memorandum No. 289 dated 2017, hence the above DRMs are entitled to get the benefits of the scheme with back wages from 01.09.2017 onwards.

(b) That, no action has so far been taken by the competent authorities to get the eligible workman subscribed towards the Employees Provident Fund Scheme 1952, of the Little Andaman, Baratang and Diglipur forest divisions.

The Member of Parliament requested the PCCF to early examine and settle these issues for the benefit of industrial employees (factory and non-factory) of Department of Environment and Forests A&N Administration