In violation of Chandigarh administration’s instructions, the municipal corporation has given current duty charges to the post of sub-divisional engineer (SDE) to 15 junior engineers (JE) for the past seven years.
Current duty charge is a temporary measure to give the responsibility of higher vacant posts to lower officers, until the new incumbents are appointed. But the post of SDE is meant for direct recruitment only.
It was in 1994 when the Chandigarh administration directed all the heads of departments, chairman, managing director of boards and corporations to withdraw the current duty charges.
The administration even issued guidelines that current duty charges could create legal problems and officers on current duty charges even claimed seniority on the basis of current duty charge.
The addressees were also directed them to fill up the vacant posts on regular basis and convene departmental promotion committee (DPC) immediately.
However, the civic body has not done any recruitment for the past 16 years.
The corporation did advertise 10 posts of SDE public health and bridges and roads for direct recruitment nearly three years back. Applications were also received, but till date no further action has been taken by the corporation.
Currently, 12 JE’s of the MC and Chandigarh administration are waiting outcome of their applications for the direct recruitment posts.
One of the eligible candidates from MC said, though MC had notified its recruitment rules in 2012, it had not filled the vacant posts.
One of the SDEs, who was regularised last year, has now approached the court for regular promotion for the post of executive engineer (XEN) or be given current duty charge for the post. The officer has also requested for allowances for post of SDE with effect from 2005 to 2014 for the period he was holding current duty charge of SDE. The court has asked MC for speaking orders in representation of the SDE.
However, regular service of six years as SDE is required for promotion to the post of XEN.
On the other hand, the Chandigarh Housing Board in November 2004 withdrew the current duty charge given to all technical sections and ordered for holding department promotion committee for regular appointments.
BJP councillor Satinder Singh said MC’s apathy towards filling vacant posts was very unfortunate. “The employees given current duty charges are now approaching court for promotions and are demanding pay and allowances, which will be huge financial burden on the MC,” he added.
MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.