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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Central staff decry government ‘apathy’

Residents of Central Revenue Quarters clearing the debris in their colony in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. - Photo: K.R. Deepak
A week after the cyclone Hudhud left a trail of destruction, more than 100 employees of Customs, Central Excise, and Income Tax departments, who are struggling without drinking water supply, joined hands to clear the debris and voice their protest at the Central Revenue Quarters on Sunday.
Criticising what they called the lackadaisical approach of government officials, the employees complained that they were not getting drinking water and the neighbourhood had been dumped with garbage, which could lead to outbreak of diseases.
“Even after repeated appeals to officials, our plea has been ignored. While senior Central government officials have been provided drinking water in tanks, lower cadre employees have been completely ignored,” said Chitti Babu, general secretary of Group C Customs Officers’ Association.
More than 10 big trees have been uprooted in the colony and the residents complained that the debris has not been cleared. To add to their sufferings, the garbage strewn in heaps in the colony has compounded their issues.
“Yesterday’s rain had made things worse. If the garbage is not cleared, it can lead to diseases like diarrhoea,” another resident said.
With the colony strewn with uprooted trees and branches, electric poles, cables, and other rubble, employees themselves voluntarily cleared the blockages.
“We were provided 5,000 litres of water for over 100 families two days ago. But senior officials have been provided with steady water supply. We want to know why such treatment is being meted out to us. We are also a part of the general public and need government support,” said Mr. Babu, and added that even CPWD Department had ignored the employees.
The central government employees complained that no political leader had come to visit their area so far to understand the gravity of the problems and inspect the damages to the houses.
“Last night, power supply was restored in a few houses. But most of us are still struggling in the dark with no drinking water supply,” an angry employee said.

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