Business Today

They left the pavement after 130 days with the promise of getting their jobs back

After occupying the footpath in front of the National Press Club of the capital for 130 consecutive days, the workers of Fisheries Department’s union-level fisheries technology service expansion project have temporarily suspended the program. The project was closed on June 30. 512 youth of the project became unemployed. They started a sit-in program in protest. The program was suspended today on Sunday with the assurance of getting back the job.

The organizer of the program is the President of the Union Project Employee Welfare Council. Saidur Rahman said the duration of the project may be extended again. The former director of the project has written to the department concerned to transfer the trained manpower of the project to the revenue sector. A decision can be made about them soon. After receiving this promise, the program has been suspended for the time being.

The victim, Zillur Rahman Khan, said that in the job notification, the qualification was asked for HSC pass. But the scheme was attended by graduates and post-graduates. As a result the project proceeded with success. Due to the response from the field, its duration also increases in the second phase. They were appointed in the 16th grade in the financial year 2015-16 following the government recruitment rules. After 7 years of service, they have become helpless as the project has been canceled after passing the age of government service.

The former director of the project is Mohammad Habibur Rahman. Presently Chief Scientific Officer, Fisheries Inspection and Quality Control Branch. He told Prothom Alo that it has been proposed to resume the project in the third phase. It may or may not start. If fast, maybe in December. It will depend on the economic condition of the country.

When asked whether jobs can be transferred from the project to the revenue sector or not, Habibur Rahman said, “Usually it is not possible.” We are stuck due to a court order in this regard. Due to a writ, the employment of these youths could not be taken up in the revenue department. But it can be done for the sake of humanity. Earlier also the jobs of several project staff of this department were transferred to revenue sector. The minister himself sympathizes with the workers of this project.

The main objective of this project was to increase fish production by applying advanced fish farming technology with the participation of local fish farmers in some selected unions of the country. It creates employment opportunities for the rural population through fisheries and various fisheries-related activities. Union based fisheries extension system was established to conduct sustainable extension activities at the field level by coordinating the Department of Fisheries, Union Councils and local fish farmers.