Over 3000 Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) employees, including engineers and technicians have been unpaid for 20 months. These HEC staff have built several components for ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 mission.
Per The Hindu’s damning report, they are forced to engage as part-time daily wage workers to sustain their families. The report states that many of these employees have already emptied their provident funds and some have even borrowed loans. Some of the staff’s children who studied in private schools have been shifted to government schools for lack of funds.
— Amit Bhelari (@amitbhelari) September 23, 2023
One of the technicians, an HEC employee since 1993, is forced to sell readymade garments. Per the Hindu, the employee attends office from 6am till 2 p.m. He then turns into a salesman selling towels and ladies garments. Another staff sells momos, while one employee works as a part-time daily laborer to take care of his family. Yet another staff member works as a part time autorickshaw driver after 5 p.m. He informs that there are other HEC employees who sell vegetables, and golgappas for their bread and butter.
Mr Ram & his wife Yashoda Devi work as daily wagers earning 450/. Shifted his children to Govt school. 5/7 pic.twitter.com/gkOjFZ21fZ
— RAHUL (@RahulSeeker) September 24, 2023
See Also: ‘Not Enough’ Internet Erupts As Harsh Goenka Discloses ISRO Chief’s ‘Modest’ 2 Lakh Monthly Salary
While the right wing trolls were quick to judge the reportage as Soros funded propaganda, concerned netizens lamented at the fiasco. One user cries shame calling out the establishment that governs the country, with billionaire babas and scientists scrambling for their salaries.
Another writes that, we are proud that we went to the moon, but ashamed that we couldn’t pay salaries to those who enabled the mission.
See Also: ‘Too Less’ ISRO Scientist Salaries Spark Debate Amid Chandrayaan-3 Success
HEC is the oldest PSU in India with three branches – Heavy Machine Tools Plant (HMTP), Heavy Machines Building Plant (HMBP), and Foundry Forge Plant (FFP). It provides equipment to major steel plants. HEC has manufactured the Folding cum Vertically Repositionable Platform for space vehicles, mobile launch pedestals, tower cranes among other equipment for ISRO. The general secretary of the HEC Workers Association had blamed management for the delay in salaries. Is the government even listening?
See Also: Chandrayaan-3 Engineers Who Built The Launch Pad Have Reportedly Not Been Paid Over A Year
Cover Image: Amit Bhelari / The Hindu