VRAs lathi charged outside TS Assembly; KTR promises to solve problems

“KTR sir requested us to wait till September 18. He said that a meeting will be arranged and a committee will be formed to see to it that all the problems will be solved,” said V Ramulu, State Convenor of VRA JAC.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  14 Sep 2022 4:04 AM GMT
VRAs lathi charged outside TS Assembly; KTR promises to solve problems

Nearly 6,000 Village Revenue Assistants (VRAs) have suspended their protests after meeting Minister Municipal Administration and Urban Development K T Rama Rao.

Police resorted to the cane charge after around 6000 VRAs staged a protest outside Legislative Assembly.

Later, some members of the VRA Joint Action Committee met Minister Municipal Administration and Urban Development K T Rama Rao.

"KTR sir requested us to wait till September 18. He said that a meeting will be arranged and a committee will be formed to see to it that all the problems will be solved," said V Ramulu, State Convenor of VRA JAC.

VRAs also announced to pause their protests after speaking to KTR. "We will wait as requested but if our payscale is not revised and pending salaries not cleared- as promised by the government, then the protest will continue," Ramulu said.

VRAs have been protesting for nearly 45 days. The VRAs play a vital role in village revenue matters, taxes collection, and officials' visits.

The government promoted some VRAs to Village Revenue Officers (VRO). However, the VRO system was scrapped in 2020.

KCR promised that they will be absorbed into different government departments. He also promised to implement pay scales for the VRAs. However, the promise has not been fulfilled, which triggered unrest.

"The monthly salaries for VRA and ROs range from 5,000 to 10,000. They have worked on this salary since the state was formed," Ramulu said. "We are not demanding anything that sounds unreasonable. We just want basic pay so that we can survive," Ramulu said.

"I joined as a VRA in 2015. I am an MBA and I wanted to serve my people at the grassroots level so I took up this job. But my salary has not been increased. It remains Rs 6,000 and this amount is not even paid on time," said Sai Kiran, a VRA in Karimnagar district.

VRAs are assigned odd jobs related to the collection of taxes or any other such responsibilities. "Sometimes we are asked to look after cleaning, buy vegetables and whatnot. It is humiliating. All VRAs are mostly graduates and can do so much more," Kiran said.

According to JAC, nearly 20 VRAs have committed suicide in the last two months after being distressed by financial issues. The most recent case has been of K Ashok (25), a VRA in the Kamareddy district.

"My salary is Rs 8,000. With the cost of everything rising today, how can I make a living with this money? I borrow money from a loan-lender so that I can continue to send my 8-year-old to school," said Kishore, a VRA from the Nalgonda district.

Kishore says that VRAs are not being offered any decent private jobs anywhere either.

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