At least 3,500 employees of the Madhya Pradesh public health engineering department (PHE) who are on deputation with urban civic bodies across the state will have to return back to their parent department in November as now the department needs them.
There are more than 5,000 PHE employees working in the 14 municipal corporation in the state, most of who look after the technical squads of water supply system, filter plant maintenance and laying pipelines.
In most of the urban civic bodies, these employees have been placed in other departments and have completed more than three years, which is against the norms of service deputation.
In view of shortage of officials with the department, PHE minister Kusum Mehdhle recently held a meeting with engineer-in-chief GS Damor and decided to call more than 3,500 employees back to the department from deputation.
“The process will start in the first week of November,” said Damor.
The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be the most affected by the process as the civic body alone has more than 900 employees on deputation from the PHE.
Most of the employees, who belong to class 3 and class 4 grade, have been assigned work in sections other than water supply. “The PHE needs them back but more than that class 3 and 4 employees are given officer level work , some of them are even ward in-charges in the BMC, which clearly proves that the civic body does not needs them for water related engineering jobs,” said Shoaib Siddqui, state secretary of the Karamchari Congress.
In a study by Hindustan Times with the help of Right to Information activist Nitin Saxena, found that as many as 38 officials from different departments are on deputation with the BMC for more than three years, with some officials having spent more than 10 years on deputation with the civic body.
Sources said that postings are “fixed” from the directorate, where PHE employees get their deputation letters printed and take a posting for an unknown duration.
BMC commissioner Chhavi Bharadwaj said the order is not feasible.
“There has been an order for civic bodies across the state but I don’t think it is feasible as municipal corporations are operating with the help of PHE oficials. The water supply department cannot function without them.”
5,000 employees of MP Public Health Engineering Department
14 municipal corporations
900 employees at BMC
38 officers have spent more than 10 years on deputation in BMC
3,500 employees on deputation may be called back