Highway maintenance worker not paid for five years’ work

Published On: September 4, 2017 10:11 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KHOTANG, September 4: A highway maintenance worker of the Diktel-Halesi road section in Khotang have not received remuneration for years, it has been revealed.

Harkaraj Tamang, a local who has been working as a highway maintenance worker at Nunthala of the Diktel-Halesi road section, complained that he has not been provided remuneration according to the agreement since the past five years. He was recruited in 2007, and he has not received his payment of Rs 10,500 per month from February 2013. 

Tamang has submitted a complaint at District Administration Office regarding the issue. He has submitted applications to the then Local Development Officials Yubaraj Adhikari, Rabikaran Acharya and Mahendra Sapkota on different occasions asking for payment, but his requests were ignored. Despite being unpaid, he continues his job of road maintenance. 

Tamang had taken the job when vehicles started operating in the gravel road. The then District Development Committee had recruited Tamang as a highway maintenance worker in January 2007. His monthly pay was fixed at Rs 8,000 initially, which was increased to Rs 10,500 in 2013.
Tamang received his salary for 10 months after the increment but after that it stopped. 

"I am employed in the job from the beginning," said Tamang: "Despite my hard work I am not paid according to my appointment letter." He said that his concerns were ignored because he was a lowly labor.

Coming from a low income family, Tamang's job includes filling potholes with stones and pebbles, leveling the road, trimming branches of trees beside the road, and unclogging the water in the road on daily basis. 

Majority of the travelers taking the route of Diktel- Halesi know him. He waves his hand when he sees them. Tamang said that he felt happy to contribute on his part to make their travel easy. He has a wish to work for making the road better as long as he is alive. 

"I will work for maintaining the road here until my last breath, it makes me feel good," Tamang said. His family consists of a daughter, two sons and a wife.

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