Monday, April 27, 2015

Employee grievances addressed at GREF Adalat

Service related issues are not easy to raise in hierarchy-conscious institutions like the army, of which the Border Roads Organisation also happens to be a part. It was hence a welcome development that the BRO organized a GREF Adalat in Gangtok on 16 April to address grievances of its employees. Significantly, this was the first such Adalat of the organisation and following its successful debut in Sikkim, it will be taken to BRO installations elsewhere in the near future. The Adalat in Gangtok, convened at the Project Swastik HQ here was inaugurated and addressed by the Director General, Border Roads Organisation, Lieutenant General RN Mittal.
The DG-BRO informed that in light of the rising number of court cases by GREF employees, the organization decided to conduct GREF Adalats to address the grievances at the ground level itself and redress complaints and problems even more expediently. This, as mentioned, is a new initiative and has begun from Sikkim.
The importance of the initiative is borne out by the fact that as many 75 cases were eventually submitted by GREF employees for redressal at the GREF Adalat. Interestingly, until a week ago, only 34 cases had been submitted. On the final days, there was surge of applications raising grievances regarding pensions, to other allowances and even ex-gratia for deceased employees. The GREF Adalat took up all 75 cases and successfully resolved 71 cases to the satisfaction of all concerned sides, it is informed.
The four cases which could not be settled related to policy decisions and can hence only be addressed by the Ministry of Defence under which BRO comes. Officials at the GREF Adalat assured to take up these matters with the authorities in Delhi.
Also on the day, the DG-BRO announced to take up even grievances of casual labourers at the next GREF Adalat. He remarked that even casual labourers formed major components of the BRO’s daunting task of constructing roads in difficult terrains.
GREF, one of the components of Border Roads Organisation, is completing 55 years of service to the nation. It is informed that as many as 22 of its people die every month while working on its challenging projects.
The BRO-DG remarked in his address at the GREF Adalat that steps have been taken to ensure proper training for all employees and even casual workers on the use of explosives to ensure that lives are not lost to such mishaps.
He said that the Ministry has also authorized his office to take prompt action in the event of death of any labourer or employee at project sites and that such fatalities will now receive immediate compensation along with ex-gratia of Rs.10 lakh. Chief Engineers of projects have been authorized for immediate sanction of other expenses during the course of accident claims, he said.
He also informed that the Ministry has taken a policy decision to give 60 days’ leave to employees in the event of the demise of any relatives. 
As of now, The BRO is maintaining 20,000 Kms of roads across 18 Projects, which are divided into Task Forces, Road Construction Companies (RCCs), Bridge Construction Companies (BCCs), Drain Maintenance Companies (DMCs), and other functional platoons, 19 air fields and is undertaking Rs.35,000 crore project for another five years. 

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