After being criticised by the Bahujan Samaj Party over its proposal to trim the number of maintenance staff deployed at the memorials and parks built during the previous Mayawati regime in Lucknow and Noida,the Akhilesh Yadav government has now hiked the budget for their salaries and allowances.
In the budget of the Housing Department for 2013-14,which was passed by the Assembly last week,there is a provision of Rs 117.29 crore for the salary and allowances of these employees. The amount on this head was Rs 95 crore in last years budget,while it was Rs 96.31 crore in 2011-12 financial year when BSP was in power.
Sources said the budget has been increased in 2013-14 for the payment of dearness allowances and increments to 5,769 employees,including 3,000 safai workers deployed for the maintenance of these parks and monuments.
These employees had been recruited in 2011. While probation period of some employees has completed in February,same of others is completing in May.
After coming to power,the SP government had received complaints that there was excess staff deployed in the memorials and parks built by Mayawati,and many of them had no work to do. In July 2012,the government constituted a seven-member panel under the Lucknow District Magistrate to rationalise the staff.
Sources said the committee submitted the report in February this year with a suggestion to downsize the staff to 565 in these memorials and parks in Lucknow and one in Noida. Sources said the panel also suggested that excess staff could be accommodated in other departments.
While the government has hiked budget for staffs salary,it has made no provision of any amount in the budget for maintenance of these monuments. The previous BSP government had made a provision of Rs 25 crore for it. Last year,the SP government reduced it to Rs 1 crore and decided to use to the memorial corpus fund for it. In 2010,the Mayawati government had set up a corpus fund of Rs 161.27 crore for the maintenance of these memorials and parks.
But later the Mayawati government decided that the corpus fund should be used for only organising the events on the birth and death anniversaries of B R Ambedkar and Kanshiram. Government allocated Rs 25.84 crore in the housing department budget for routine maintenance works, said an official of the department.
The SP government recently decided to use the corpus money for all maintenance related works of the memorials and parks. That corpus fund has now increased to around Rs 213 which is sufficient for maintenance of the memorials and parks, said Secretary LDA Ashtabhuja Tiwari.