The rot of adhocism

Insiders paint a gloomy picture of adhocism and stop gap arrangement bedeviling the administration of the State. One is disposed to think that everything in the State is conditioned by that syndrome. The Chief Minister and his colleagues are crying at the top of their voice whether in official meetings or in public rallies that good governance is the foremost objective of the administration. People trust their words and promises and keep on waiting for endless time to see good governance dawning on the State. This is all notwithstanding his declared desire to bring about healthy and speedy reforms. Constitution of various commissions and new regulatory processes initiated by him speak for his serious intentions. How then has the menace of adhocism crept into the system? And if it had crept in, why steps have not been taken on war footing to arrest the rot and make permanent appointments. This is precisely what the verdict of the Supreme Court of India has been on the issue when a case was brought to it. We are not going to make a mention of each significant case of adhoc appointments, stop gap appointments and out of way assignments to establish our point. That adhocism is rampant in the state administration is not a contentious issue at all. Facts speak for themselves. A clear analysis of many adhoc cases sufficiently reflects favouritism and nepotism at work. The purpose has not been to respond to administrative expediency but to benefit the favourites. This is one facet of inertia and corruption and the civil society is supposed to take full cognizance of it.
From what is learnt through media about the nature of adhocism in our administrative structure, one feels that there is general loot of public exchequer to benefit a handful of people who are close to the corridors of power and who can cull favour with the powers that be. The bureaucracy is all powerful and obviously connives at these instances of mismanagement, albeit while crying that these are all ‘political appointments’. The government is loath to concede the demand of employees for raising the age limit for retirement by two years on the plea that there was an army of unemployed youth and they could not be kept waiting for long. But the same argument fits more aptly the retired persons who, having reached the ripe age of 75 and above, still continue to bask in the sunshine of favour from a powerful politician or a bureaucrat and then grab a lucrative assignment with the state. They draw fat salaries and enjoy many other perks which ordinary government employees cannot dream of after superannuation. Examples of septuagenarian retired officials of the state and the central governments being engaged on hefty remunerations without any purpose and performance are hard to justify. Some of them are known to have brought disrepute to the Government by getting themselves ‘posted’ with the Ministers in their blood relation. Others have been holding high offices despite their characteristic abusing of the Chief Minister’s party and dynasty and felt never bothered to hide their love for the converse.
Yet another disturbing factor of adhocism in the state is that Commissioners/Secretaries and even HODs are give extra departments to manage along with the ones they already are in charge of substantively. Crises are perpetuated and situations are manipulated in a manner that even juniors become superior to seniors. They often dominate the show with crass sycophancy. This mishandling of human resource is detrimental to the health of the state and is bound to obstruct smooth flow of work and justice.
As regards some key technical departments like Forest, Power Development, Health and other works related departments, more than 70% of the officers are holding second or third higher position in the hierarchy as “stop gap arrangement” for years. Significantly, their elevation “in their own pay and grade” to the higher ranks is a blatant violation of the Supreme Court of India’s directions, particularly to Jammu and Kashmir state, in the writ petition titled Suraj Prakash Gupta versus State, issued over a decade ago. According to the Government policy, officials can hold additional charge of other positions for not more than six months. The apex court had directed the State to substantively fill up all vacancies and ensure that no adhocism or stop gap arrangement was employed. It is unbelievable that the Sate government intends to violate the verdict of the Supreme Court. Adhocism is the greatest source of discontent among the ranks in administrative cadres besides being an obstruction in the smooth running of the system.  Much of this responsibility comes to the Chief Minister even if the bureaucrats have manipulated the adhoc system. How can the system deliver when Assistant Directors become ‘incharge Directors’, Assistant Engineers become ‘incharge Chief Engineers’ and unconfirmed Range Officers are assigned to function as ‘incharge DFOs and CFs’. While the professionally trained youth fall in distress and despair, favourites of politicians and bureaucrats find is easy to get themselves posted on senior positions on ‘stop gap arrangement’. On the other hand vacancies exist in large numbers and many more could have been created by effecting mandatory reorganization of these departments and creation of more administrative units and divisions. For the state’s depressed youth, this absorption as ‘one time settlement’ could have proved a more stronger CBM than the empty running cross-LoC bus our leaders are dying for.
We expect the Chief Minister to take stock of all adhoc and stop gap arrangements, reconsider appointments made as, consultants or officers o special duty etc. disengage the beneficiaries and also dispense with clubbing the departments in putting them in charge of favourites. This overgrowth has to be weeded out and super-structures dismantled to let the departments and institutions function normally and without adhocism.

 

                                             Mailbag

10 year tenure for doctors
Sir,
It has been reported that the doctors in this State will have to serve in rural areas for a period of 10 years before they will serve in urban areas. This is a good policy decision and needs to be appreciated by one and all. The  decision if implemented in letter and spirit will change the rural health scenario of the State. At present, the rural health sector is not in pink of health due to various  reasons. One of the primary reasons is dearth of doctors. The doctor community even after being transferred to serve in rural areas often remain reluctant to go there. They adopt every means from influence to money to get posting in urban centres where they could avail all basic amenities of life, give education to children and above all indulge in private practice a good source of revenue. Only those who do not have God-fathers in Government  join duties in rural areas.
It is a well known fact that a major chunk of population resides in village. And this section often remains deprived of quality medicare as compared to urban section. This section of society bears additional burden when they have to seek medical attention from a urban health centre.
The 10 year tenure may bring a great relief to residents in rural areas.
Yours etc…
Sumit Sharma
Udhampur

Plea to PDD
Sir,
The Power Development Department has issued inflated electricity bills to poor people of this area. The bills show Rs 50,000 to Rs 10,0000  pending with the consumers here. The department is also charging interest in thousands for non-payment of these bills.
It is requested to the Government and the PDD officials to set a credit limit to electricity consumers according to security deposit of the consumers and if their bills are more than credit  then disconnect their connections.
The move will help the customers pay their bills well in time.
Yours etc…
Neelam Kumar
Kakryal

Strengthening of peace
Sir,
This has reference to the news item ”Governor  for restoration of lasting peace to make J&K prosperous State” DE Apr 27.
The lasting peace can be restored by organising various peace conferences, awareness camps, discussions and seminars throughout the State.
In this regards the help of educational institutions can also be sought by introducing studies like Jainism, Buddhism, Gandhian thought in school  curriculum.
Buddhist studies are getting popular with the masses day by day. But it very dismaying that there are no lecturers to teach Buddhism in 10+2 schools in J&K. The students who have opted for Buddhism as a subject are suffering badly on this count.
Hope the authorities in Education Department pay attention to this problem.
Yours etc…
Thinlay Norboo
Durbuk, Ladakh

Erratic electricity in Trikuta Nagar
Sir,
The residents of Trikuta Nagar despite paying regular electricity bills, that too on time, still face numerous power cuts day in and day out. This makes our life quite miserable particularly when mercury is on the rise.
Trikuta Nagar is an e-metered area and when electronic meters were being installed, the authorities assured us that there  will be a 24×7 power supply.
These assurances are now proving quite false due to irregular supply of power in the area.
We request the PDD authorities to supply us power regularly and let citizens of this area live in light.
Yours etc…
Rajinder P Kakkar
Trikuta Nagar
Jammu

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