Ooty: As over 500 workers attached to government gardens, parks and farmsacross the Nilgiris began an indefinite strike, seeking job regularisation, it appears that the strike could also hit the works in various gardens and parks which are preparing for flower shows and other shows in May.
This is a clever move by the striking workers, who are in the category of temporary labourers, to put pressure on the Horticulture department to get their long pending issues addressed in peak summer tourist season when their role is vital in preparing the state run gardens such as the Government Botanical Garden, Rose Garden in Ooty and Sim's Park in Coonoor for the annual flower, rose and fruit shows in the coming weekends.
The workers who began their indefinite strike on Friday morning gathered at the Government Botanical Garden and staged a sit-in.
Their representatives said that there are over 500 casual labourers working in 13 state-run horticulture units as the gardens, parks and horticulture farms across the Nilgiris.
Though many of them have been in the temporary labourer category for more than a decade, their plea for regularisation has been ignored all these days.
“These state-run parks and gardens earn crores of rupees through entrance fee collection in a year, but the issues of the employees are yet to be addressed,”a representative of the striking farm workers explained.
However, Horticulture officials maintain that they can run the show with about 300 regular farmhands and farms in the hills and there will not be any threat to the summer-related horticulture shows....