Traffic blocked at Mall road as govt employees stage sit-in

LAHORE, PAKISTAN, NOV 12: Employees of Punjab Land Record Authority (PLRA) are holding protest demonstration for acceptance of their demands, outside Punjab Assembly in Lahore on Tuesday, November 12, 2019. (Babar Shah/PPI Images).

–PLRA, C&W employees along with visually impaired persons stage separate protests in front of Punjab Assembly

LAHORE: Mall road experienced severe traffic jams and remained blocked throughout Tuesday as employees of the Punjab Land Record Authority (PLRA), sub-engineers of the Communication and Works (C&W) department and visually impaired persons held separate protests at Faisal Square (Charing Cross).

PLRA employees were protesting against lack of service structure and salary increments.

A protesting PLRA staff member, employed at Arazi Record Centre (ARC) Faisalabad told Pakistan Today that there has been no increase in salary for employees who had been working at the authority for years.

“When Chief Minister Usman Buzdar formed the PLRA board, we were hopeful that our concerns would be addressed [by the board]. But the board only approved the deputation allowance and the issue of salary increments is still pending.”

“We call on the authority to form a service structure and regularize employees so we can work properly,” he said.

The eight-day of protest of the Association of Associate Engineers (AOAE) of the C&W department also coincided with PLRA employees’ sit-in yesterday. C&W employees demanded technical allowance and up-gradation of basic pay scales.

Ashraf Nabi, a protesting sub-engineer from Gujranwala said, “We as sub-engineers carry out a crucial job for the department; working on technical design, implementation, execution, monitoring billing etc yet we do not receive technical allowance despite working over 20 hours a day.”

“We have written to the C&W secretary and all relevant authorities but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. We have been asking for technical allowance since 2014 and will not stop until we receive notification of allowance entitlements,” he said.

Visually impaired persons also continued their ninth day of protest in front of the provincial assembly. They complained that their demands for permanent employment have not been addressed by the government.

Scores of people faced trouble commuting in the city as traffic on Mall Road and all connecting roads remained congested.

According to City Traffic Police Spokesman Rana Arif, “Traffic from Regal Chowk, Avari Chowk and Qadri Chowk was diverted towards Faisal Chowk by CTP personnel who were deployed along all routes leading up to Chairing Cross.”