Durgapur project employees denied quarter allotment

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Because of illegal and unauthorized occupancy of Durgapur Projects Limited (DPL) staff quarter many employees on the role could not be provided company accommodation in the DPL Township. Not less than 200 DPL employees who had applied for company quarter two years ago, are yet to get them as other employees who already own private accommodation in Durgapur have allegedly got the quarters allotted in their names only to sublet them.

In a survey conducted by the company in 2010, it was found that a large section of the employees who already have their own houses in Durgapur city have sublet them for hefty sum. A number of employees were even suspended. But the practice continued because of lack of inspections, sources in DPL said.

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DPL has 2,485 quarters in Durgapur for its near 4,000 employees.

Most of the quarters are sublet either to retired DPL employees or other people not associated with the company, the workers who are yet to get company accommodation have alleged. They have even brought the matter under the notice of the company officials.

DPL employees who are virtually forced to live in rented houses for Rs 5,000-8,000 a month are at the receiving end. They also allege that all the unions are well aware of the fact but have not taken up their issue.

DPL authorities said they were not aware of quarters being sublet, adding that the allegations would be probed.

According to a senior DPL official, a person from outside Durgapur working with the company for more than a year is eligible for a quarter in accordance with the company law.

DPL pays 20 per cent of basic salary as house rent allowance to employees who do not get or take company quarters and 7.5 per cent of basic pay to those who have been allotted quarters.

An employee found subletting a quarter can either be fined by the company or even sacked.

But sources said inspections by the company were rare.

Even if company officials come once in a blue moon for inspection, those living as unauthorized occupants are taught to introduce themselves as relatives of the DPL employee who has the quarter in his name.

Deputy General Manager (personnel and administration) of DPL Tito Deb said: “We have no knowledge of anyone getting quarters by forging documents and subletting them. If we get any specific complaint, we will look into it.”

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