New Delhi: Doctors, students and medical staff members of Santosh University’s hospitals took to the streets to protest against nonpayment of staff salaries allegedly for the past 6 months.
A crowd of hundreds carrying placards that moved from the old bus stand at Pratap Vihar in Ghaziabad, where the hospital is located, halted outside the District Collectorate’s office on Monday for a protest demonstration.
The staff strength of Santosh Hospital consists of 4000 doctors, faculty members, and other staff. The Santosh University runs a medical and dental college and two teaching hospitals.
Those who gathered outside the District Collector’s office raised slogans and waved placards against the management.
The protest has gathered momentum ever since the workforce boycotted work On October 12. The work boycott has forced the closure of college and hospital. There are no doctors to attend to the patients.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Dr Shalabh Gupta, Professor, and Head, Surgery, said, “We have not received our salaries for the past six months. After waiting for months, we stopped teaching and attending to patients on October 12. We would have continued working for several months more, but the management has failed to address our issues; the problem is growing out of proportion.”
Speaking about salary irregularity, Dr Gupta said despite income tax being deducted at source by the university, the staff continues to get notices from the IT department.
“A similar situation persists with our provident fund contribution. The varsity management deducts EPF, but it has not been credited to our accounts,” he said.
“These issues have been pending for a long time. So we have stopped taking classes,” said a faculty member.
“The emergency unit of the hospital has remained closed since October 12. Earlier, we were protesting on the campuses but now we have been forced to take to the roads. We urge the district administration to help us,” said a post-graduate student.
A large contingent of police from the Sihani Gate and Kavi Nagar police stations was deployed along with district administration officials.
“We held a meeting with the protesters and have communicated their problems to the district magistrate,” said Atul Kumar, sub-divisional magistrate.
Addressing the problem in the open, Dr VP Gupta, Registrar, Santosh University, accepted that their salary disbursement had been delayed.
“The university has had some financial constraints because not all seats in the college could get filled, nearly one-third seats have been lying vacant this year. We expect that these problems are temporary and that they will be resolved in November,” he said.
However, Dr. VP Gupta denied accusations of salaries not having been distributed for the past 6 months. “Some people have been paid until May, some till July; we have credited salaries till August and have told our staff members that all dues will be cleared by November 1,” he elaborated.
The district administration meanwhile, has called for revenue details from the university.