Simmering under unabated exploitation Orissa Secretariat Staff has come to a boiling point where, unless Chief Minister Navin Patnaik rises to the occasion, the scenario his father had the occasion to endure may emerge with added vengeance. The Staff agitating against continuous exploitation had manhandled his father Biju Patnaik in the Secretariat on 6 May 1993.

The Government has formed a common cadre of Secretariat staff comprising dealing assistants, typists, stenographers, diarists as well as officers of Secretariat Service and has placed it under the control of Home Department. But ever since the cadre was created in 1979, not a single member of the staff has been regularized with permanent status.

On the other hand, around 1200 posts of Assistants and 300 posts of Section Officers are lying vacant in different departments and the existing staff is being compelled to bear extra workload. This is being perceived as sheer exploitation without extra payment.

To add to their chagrin, the Home department has blocked the promotional avenue since two years as a result of which eligible persons are retiring on superannuation without promotion and others are facing stagnation in rank.

The Home department has not reviewed the cadre position since 1981 whereas officers of national as well as provincial civil services are enjoying promotional prospects being dealt with by the General Administration Department that controls those cadres and reviews cadre position from time to time. This recalcitrant treat of Home Department is enraging the members of the common cadres of Secretariat staff.

Home department being engrossed in law and order issue has no time for the cadre. But this cannot be the excuse for negligence of the cadre.

Continuous negligence to job related issues of the Secretariat staff is heightening their despair into resentment. No body knows how explosive it would be when the staff finally decides not to tolerate it any more.

But to avoid any such precipitation, it may help if the common cadres of Secretariat staff get transferred into the fold of GA department where management of higher cadres has already developed a cadre management capability.

The sooner the Chief Minister understands this the better.

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