Irrigation Dept fights to get back its folk
USED TO a money-spinning assignment and better working conditions for years, the Irrigation Department?s junior engineers, who had been sent to the Trade Tax Department on deputation as officers, are now reluctant to return to their parent department.india Updated: Feb 01, 2006 01:22 IST
‘Lucrative’ assignment at Trade Tax Dept keeps them stuck
USED TO a money-spinning assignment and better working conditions for years, the Irrigation Department’s junior engineers, who had been sent to the Trade Tax Department on deputation as officers, are now reluctant to return to their parent department.
The Irrigation Department has regularly been writing to the Trade Tax Department to relieve all its officers posted there as their services are required for implementing many new irrigation projects .The Trade Tax Department is also not very keen to retain them and has started to relieve them. Interestingly, however, most of them are adopting various tactics to scuttle their ‘deportation’ and a few of them have even moved the court against their relieving orders.
It was in 2000 when the government decided to send 165 junior engineers (there were some assistant engineers also) to the Trade Tax Department for a three-year deputation, which was later, extended for two years more. The government made this arrangement because there was a heavy slump in the Irrigation Department then and there was hardly any work left for the staff. The Trade Tax Department, on the other hand, was short of officers due to fresh recruitment not being made by the Public Service Commission.
But now, the Irrigation Department has got many new projects to implement and obviously require more staff. It, therefore, wants its JEs/AEs to come back to their parent department and has been writing regularly to the government and the T-T Department for sending them back.
Though 117 of the 165 officers have reluctantly returned to their parent original over a period of time after various threats, including that of stopping salary, were issued, 46 of them still continue to be with the Trade Tax Department and are playing all tricks to avoid their ‘deportation’. Trade Tax commissioner, Rajnish Gupta said that the Irrigation Department was claiming officers back. “We are relieving them as we are getting their replacement,” he said refusing to comment on those who had moved the high court against the order.
Insiders said trade tax officers were themselves not willing to relieve the irrigation staff for vested interests. The trade tax officers who are posted with the Irrigation Department officials at check posts are jealous of the outsiders making dent in their income and desperately want them to go to the Irrigation Department. But on the other hand, these outsiders are blue-eyed boys of additional and joint commissioners in the zones. “Those from the Irrigation Department oblige their bosses more than those from within the department,” said a senior officer.
So, while the Trade Tax commissioner is asking the field officers to relieve the Irrigation Department JEs/AEs under them, the filed officers are writing to the commissioner, saying their work will be adversely affected if the officers on deputation were relieved!
Irrigation Department JEs had been posted as trade tax officers (verification) on various check-posts, an assignment considered as lucrative one. Not wondering, there are complaints of corruption and inquiries pending against many of them.
Only a few days back, a news channel had caught red-handed one such officer posted at Bangar check post in NOIDA in its sting operation. He had shown accepting bribe openly. Later, officer, RK Agrawal was suspended.
The reasons why the irrigation staff is not willing to leave the Trade Tax Department are many. First, they whose basic qualification for being appointed JE was only high school have grabbed lucrative posts where candidates qualifying the PCS are posted. Second, they have far better work conditions here. And last, despite their indulging in all corrupt practices, they do not bother for any immediate punishment. The Trade Tax Department despite complaints cannot take action against them who could be punished only by their parent department.