33 PWD divisions headless in J&K

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, Nov 21: Thirty three posts of Executive Engineers are vacant in divisions of the Public Works Department (PWD) in Jammu and Kashmir as Government has failed to promote eligible Assistant Executive Engineers (AEEs).
The divisions which are headless include Sports Council Kashmir, Custodian Department, R&B Tanghdar, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Police Housing Corporation Jammu, Rural Engineering Wing Budgam, REW Kathua, Technical Officer to Chief Engineer (R&B) Kashmir, PMGSY Mendhar, Floriculture Department, REW Kishtwar, Horticulture Planning and Marketing, Jammu Municipal Corporation, DIQC Jammu, Housing Board, TO to Development Commissioner, Tourism Development Authority Aharbal, Tourism Development Authority Kokernag, Tourism Development Authority Dood Pathri and Tourism Development Authority Kokernag.
These divisions are headless as Government instead of filling up the posts in transparent manner is doing it in peace meals. The posts are kept vacant till reserved category AEEs qualify for the promotions. So far 11 Diploma holder AEEs from reserved category were promoted in violation of SROs and Court orders.
Despite the High Court directing (in SWP 88/2018, MP No. 01/2018) the Government last year to strictly adhere to the rules while making stopgap arrangements for the post of Executive Engineers in departments are not adhering to the rules. The Court had directed the authorities to strictly adhere to the schedule appended to SRO 297 of 2006 while making promotions or stopgap arrangements on the post of EEs (Civil) in these departments.
The SRO provided that if at the time of consideration of promotion, eligible officers from the source of appointment are not available, then the eligible officers from other source shall be taken on stop gap arrangement, who shall not have any preferential treatment for higher promotions based on such stop gap promotions.
The Degree holder AEEs sought consideration for promotion or adjustment against the available post of EEs Civil in tune with the JK Engineering Services recruitment rules of 1978. Despite Court directions the Government still followed the practice of promoting the diploma holder AEEs from the reserved categories instead of degree holders from general category.
The Diploma Engineers not even possessing the qualifying service of 4 years as AEEs and 10 years of gazetted service as required by law are being promoted in relaxation of rules in preference to Degree Engineers with 15 years of service as AEEs & a Gazetted service of over 20 years.
As per the degree holder AEEs, the Diploma Engineers have already availed promotions from JE to AE & from AE to AEE availing the benefit of reservations  and have still a service career of 4 to 7 years, whereas  Degree Engineers whose right to promotion is being marred by the proposed move have an average Service career of 4 years left and have no avenues left if the proposed move is adopted in total violation of the law.