The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has proposed formation of its own cadre of top officers. At present, all posts in the BBMB up to the chief engineer level are filled as per the shares of the partner states. The BBMB has envisaged 25% of its own cadre in respect of class-I and -II officers due to non-availability of staff from partner states.
The board has been discussing the issue for the past few months, and it came up at the last meeting on January 17 where some observations were made by the member from Punjab, and some suggestions were given by the engineer-in-chief, irrigation (Haryana). The final decision about the formation of cadre is likely to be taken at the next couple of meetings.
As per the proposal, 174 posts out of total sanctioned 669 in classes I and II should form the 'BBMB cadre'. Also, 16 additional posts have been sought -- two posts of chief engineers, seven of superintending engineers, 31 executive engineers and 85 sub-divisional officers (SDOs), besides 13 doctors.
BBMB member (power) Ashok Thapar confirmed the move, "The process is on; rules are being framed. It might take another 3-4 months and could get the go-ahead in the next meeting or the one after that."
The board has noted that a post of chief engineer, two of superintending engineers and 43 posts of SDOs are vacant in its irrigation wing. Himachal is the major defaulter state that has not been not deputing its share of engineers in the irrigation wing.
In the power wing, one post of chief engineer from Haryana, two of superintending engineers, six of executive engineers and 56 posts of SDOs are vacant. Most of these posts belong to Haryana.
Meanwhile, All India Power Engineers' Federation (AIPEF) chairman Padamjit Singh has vehemently opposed the proposal, saying that the rights of partner states were being snatched. "Partner states are the owners of the assets of Bhakra and Beas projects, and the BBMB is only a body for managing these assets," Padamjit said, adding, "Non-availability of staff by partner states is not a sound reason for formation of its own cadre by the BBMB. The board should work on the issue of staff crunch with the states."
The PSEB Engineers' Association - named after the since-bifurcated Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) -- is also opposed to the idea, it is learnt.