by Khalid Bashir Gura
SRINAGAR: More than 150 employees hailing from Jammu and Kashmir serving in the Union Territory of Ladakh in various Government departments have appealed to the Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, to bring them back as promised before the bifurcation of the erstwhile State of J&K into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
The employees said a number of them have completed their tenure and have not been repatriated to J&K as delaying a transfer is taking a heavy toll on their health and their families. Most of the employees want to return to their erstwhile state as they are facing health impediments due to the unsuitable climate of the place of posting besides being not given allowances.
“Before bifurcation of the erstwhile UT, we were asked for option and we had mentioned Jammu and Kashmir as we live there,” the employees said, adding even after more than a year, no efforts have been made by the J&K UT Government which adds to the agonies of employees.
One of the medical officers said he is posted in Ladakh for seven years. “I had opted for UT of JK when they sought out option for future posting but no action has been taken yet regarding our repatriation despite repeated representations,” the doctor said.
As many of them have served more than defined tenure, according to employees, the government is turning blind eye to their pleas and the government seem to have no transfer policy in place for their repatriation.
“Even after one and a half year of bifurcation of erstwhile state the distribution of employees between two UT’s has not been done,” adding that the politicians and bureaucrats of Ladakh have brought back their employees from J&K but the UT government of J&K have ignored them,” said one of the employees.
As many employees are on the verge of retirement, according to the representation, it is now becoming difficult for them to put up with the harsh climate of Ladakh and deteriorating health besides being far away from the family.
“Our families are at Jammu and in Kashmir and how long are we supposed to stay away from them” rued employees of Jammu as well as Kashmir.
“One of our fellows has been transferred yesterday and posted at a place which is about 120 km from Ladakh. They are posting their people in the close vicinity but sending us away from here even when we are already 750 km away from families,” said the employees.
The transfer policy under which they have transferred reads that an employee has to render only two winters and after that, he becomes eligible for transfer to his home.
The employees hoped that those at the helm of affairs will fulfil their promise and bring them back to their home UT.
Lately, the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference MP Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi had sought the transfer of 10+2 non-local lecturers from Ladakh to Jammu and Kashmir, saying the delayed transfer is taking a heavy toll on them.
The employees in a representation to Lieutenant Governor said, that approximately 63 lecturers and 02 chief education officers appointed in 2017 by erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir State Government were posted and transferred in Ladakh division (now Union Territory of Ladakh) in the same year. Having completed tenure, as per policy the employees are running from pillar to post to go back home since the abrogation of Article 370.