Banasura hydel tourism centre closed due to labour strike

The Banasura Sagar Dam in Wayanad. Photo: Arun Varghese

Hundreds of tourists who drive from various parts of the state and neighbouring states to enjoy the speed boat drive and the panoramic beauty of the Banasura Sagar Dam Hydel Tourism project site are returning disappointed. The place has been closed down due to the workers` strike.

The workers are demanding clarity on their job status, repealing of the order of the director terminating the services of two employees, implementation of developmental projects in the site and salary hike of the employees.

With more than 40 staff and daily revenue varying from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 7 lakh per day, the tourism destination has been one of the endearing attractions of Wayanad. Employees affiliated with both CITU and INTUC, the trade union arms of CPM and Congress respectively, are participating in the strike.

According to CITU leader N T Anilkumar the employees of the Hydel Tourism project are on strike as the management refused to keep its promises even after the time frame was over. Moreover, the management has a vengeful attitude towards employees for no concrete reasons.  " Employees are considered as slaves and not even their basic needs are addressed," he said, adding that even after more than a decade of service there is no clarity in their service conditions whether they are temporary workers or  contract labourers.

The union leaders pointed out that despite having good footfalls and steady revenue, no step is taken towards bettering the facilities or expanding the project. Haris GL the Regional Manager of the Hydel Tourism Project told Onmanorama that a discussion with the leaders of employees is over which yielded no result. "Another round would be done as soon as possible to sort out the issue," he said. 

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