In a significant development, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has lifted the moratorium on UT administration for directly recruiting engineers.
At present, 35 sanctioned posts of engineers are lying vacant, of which 25 are in the engineering department and 10 in the electricity department.
As per norms, 57% recruitment is to be done direct through the UPSC, while 43% of seats are reserved for promotes. The last direct recruitment was done in 2003 when three engineers were hired on the post of assistant engineer (AE). Prior to that recruitment through the UPSC was done in 1991 when three engineers joined as AE.
The UPSC had imposed the ban on direction recruitment of engineers after the UT administration failed to formulate its own service rules, despite repeated reminders. However, after struggling for years the administration earlier this year managed to frame its own service rules which were submitted to the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and were approved.
UT finance secretary VK Singh, who played a key role in framing of rules, said, “The decision will help them in overcoming acute shortage of engineers in different departments.”
In absence of adequate engineers, the departments were forced to hand over additional charge of engineers to junior engineers (JEs), thus affecting the efficiency.
Shortage hampering pace of ongoing projects
The administration has undertaken several projects in the past three years which are yet to see light of the day.
According to sources, over 25 projects were sanctioned in the past three year, of which in majority of cases either the work has not started or is moving at a very slow place. The issue of delay in execution of projects has been taken up by senior officials on several occasions.
As per official records, around 10 projects of department of higher education (DHE) have been lingering on for more than two years. A similar number of projects undertaken at the Burail model jail have been stuck at the initial stage.
The administration had allotted eight projects worth about `45 crore to the Power Grid Corporation of India and three projects with estimated cost of around `18 crore to the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPCL) for streamlining the electricity distribution system in the city, but all projects are behind schedule.
The UT finance secretary blamed the delay on the shortage of engineers. “Shortage of skilled engineers is one of the main reasons for the delay in execution of projects undertaken in the past few years,” he said.
He further said, “As we have received approval for directly recruiting engineers, the recruitment process will be started at the earliest.”
The administration will now advertise for vacant posts, which will be filled on priority basics. The administration is also planning to train new engineers, especially for speedy execution of special projects.