No salary for PMAY-Urban technocrats

The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is one of the administration’s flagship programs, intending to construct over two crore houses for the homeless and poor. In Jammu and Kashmir, too, a dedicated team of around 68 experts is working to fulfil the dreams of UT residents. These 68 are not a bunch of labourers but comprise project engineers, town planners, GIS specialists, and training coordinators. Many of these people have left lucrative jobs to work in their home place out of love and dedication to contribute to the development of their motherland. But like in many other cases, some officials are not in sync with the new work culture at the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. All of these technocrats have been working without pay for the past nine months and counting. UT of Jammu and Kashmir bagged the top award for the implementation of PMAY-Urban during the “India Urban Housing Conclave 2022”, because of the sheer hard work of these people. Housing for All is a dream, and these technocrats are working for lump sum salaries, shuttling between three to four towns allotted to them. No travel allowance is paid, and these people allege they spend money on stationery on their own. These people are working under the Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board, but no one is able to explain why there has been a delay of nine months in releasing the salaries. This is a serious matter that must be properly investigated and action taken under the prevalent departmental and general laws. There are also allegations of a wide gap between the proposed salary structure and the current salary. The administration must look into the matter, and if there is any discrepancy, it should be removed at the earliest. The end of March has been set for the release of their salaries, but why the avoidable delay in the first place? The administrative officials must understand their responsibilities, and an early resolution to the issue is expected.