They are a stone’s throw from each other and are widely known as ‘sister universities’ but while employees of the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) are paid on time, those at nearby Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) are still waiting for their salaries.
Alleging step-motherly treatment from the Punjab government, PAU employees on Tuesday blocked the gates of Thapar Hall, the main administrative building at the university, and demanded payment of pending salaries and arrears. They also questioned as to why there was ‘shortage of funds for GADVASU’ whose employees were paid on January 1. “The salaries of PAU employees is always delayed due to much touted financial crunch. Not even a single month has passed when our salaries have come on time.
This is not justified as GADVASU employees, in our neighbourhood, got their salaries on January 1 itself. Why this difference?” said Harbans Singh Mundi, president of the PAU employees union. He added that around 1,300 non-teaching employees, 800 faculty members, 800 Class IV staff and 3,500 pensioners of PAU are waiting for their money even after 20 days of January have passed.
“We have actually failed to understand that when the source is the same, how come we do not get money and GADVASU our sister university get salaries on time,” said D P Maur from PAU Retirees Welfare Association.
The union members said that the total salary and pension bill of PAU amounts to around Rs 18.33 crore while, they say, is much lower for GADVASU with its 700 staff members including 300 on contract drawing 6-7 crore a month. “Our children get humiliated in schools when asked to deposit fee repeatedly. This is completely unjustified and government needs to give us an answer,” a PAU faculty member told Ludhiana Newsline.
Despite repeated attempts, PAU comptroller A C Rana was not available for comments.