Inchargism continues to be bane in Engg Departments

R&B, PDD Enggs worst victims of problem
Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Aug 8: Total inchargism continues to be a bane in Engineering Departments of J&K UT where hundreds of Engineers elevated to higher posts are drawing salaries and pension as incharge officers for years together as the concerned administrative departments have failed to forward their cases for confirmation as Assistant Engineers, Assistant Executive Engineers, Executive Engineers, Superintending Engineers and Chief Engineers to Public Service Commission (PSC).
According to sources, the problem is almost in every Engineering wing of J&K but the engineers of PDD are the most sufferers. Some of the Engineers in the Department who superannuated in 2008 on the post of AEE held by them for almost a decade are still drawing pensionary benefits as JEs despite the fact that they served on the post of incharge AE for a decade and then on the post of AEE also for the same period.
Terming it a long drawn issue, sources said some Engineers in R&B and hydraulic wing who retired as SEs and Chief Engineers over five six years back were confirmed as SEs last year. This is a chronic and persistent problem in Engineering Departments of the J&K and the authorities at the helm of affairs have failed to solve it, sources added.
Sources said a Senior Engineer who attained the age of superannuation as AEE or Executive Engineer if does not get confirmation to the higher post up to his retirement has to get the pensionary benefits as JE and how can he make his both ends meet at this meager pension when his expenses have increased owing to his old age problems. Besides, he is put at a loss of huge amount of his salary which the officer deserved. This is a total injustice with these Senior Engineers which is the outcome of wrong policies of the Government made from time to time, sources added.
Sources said though the various Engineering bodies have taken up the issue with Government from time to time but to no avail. Some engineers who have been subjected to injustice by not getting the pay and pensionary benefits on higher posts on which they attained superannuation have taken up the issue with the Administrative Secretaries of their concerned departments as well as submitted the case in the Grievances Cell of the Lt Governor for justice but they could not get a response from these quarters which has further added to their agony and desperation, sources added.
Sources said in PDD a visible progress in the matter was observed earlier but after the transfer of then Secretary the process has again come to a grinding halt putting a seal on the fate of these Incharge Engineers waiting for justice for decades together.
Sources said the authorities at the helm of PDD don’t show any interest in addressing the issue of these deserving Engineers who have given their entire life to serve the Department.
Sources said the problem is persisting in other Engineering Departments like R&B, Hydraulic Wing including PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Departments as well as Mechanical Engineering Wing also with Government least bothered to settle the issue.
Sources further said inordinate delays have added to the woes of Senior Engineers who are paying the price for serving the department for decades together.
Terming the problem as more chronic in PDD, sources said Senior Engineers in the Department who retired as Chief Engineers are drawing pension as Assistant Executive Engineers even five to 10 years after their retirement for no fault of theirs. The main cause for this injustice to which these Senior Engineers have been subjected is the failure of concerned administrative departments to formally complete their case files for regularization of their promotions as Executive Engineers, Superintending Engineers and then Chief Engineers, sources added.
Sources said these Engineers have merely become the victims of administrative lapses and such lapses have become a routine affair in the Department. Such a delay in promotions has not only retarded the growth and progress of officers on one hand and on the other hand it would have de-motivated them in their commitment towards their routine job.
Sources said that in October last year the then J&K State Administrative Council (SAC) had issued directives that the proposal for regular promotions in Engineering cadre of PDD be processed for consideration of competent authority in the Government through the Establishment cum Selection Committee , without any reference to J&K Public Service
Commission (PSC) as one time exception and the same process was to be completed by 30-11-2019 but this too has not seen the light of the day though eight months have elapsed.
Sources said in last week a delegation of PDD Engineers also called on Principal Secretary of the Department regarding the issue but except hollow promises nothing was done in settling the issue and files are piling up in Department.
One of the former Chairman of J&K Public Service Commission on the condition of anonymity said it is the failure of different administrative departments to maintain the seniority of the engineers serving in their departments. Some engineers reached to the level of CEs but could not get the pay scale of that post due to the lapses made by their administrative departments. He said the seniority management is the affair of concerned departments and PSC has no role in it.
Secretary, PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, M Raju said that the delay in clearing the cases was due to disbanding of the PSC but after its reconstitution the cases will be submitted to it for clearance. He showed optimism of settling the issue at the earliest.