Srinagar, Oct 07: In a significant stride towards efficient cadre management, the Jal Shakti Department has issued regularisation orders for over 800 engineers’ across various ranks, marking an end to adhocism and uncertainties that have plagued the department for years. This move has not only benefited numerous retired officers but has also streamlined pay structures.
Since September 2022, a total of 1969 engineers, spanning from Junior Engineers to Superintendent Engineers, have finally seen regularisation, promotions, and recommendations after languishing in in-charge capacities on an ad hoc basis for extended periods.
In several instances, regularisation has occurred after a staggering twenty-two years of ad hoc placements, the official statement said.
The proactive and transparent processes initiated by the Public Service Commission (PSC) have played a pivotal role in addressing these long-standing issues. The recommendations of the Departmental Promotion Committee within the PSC have resulted in promotions for 70 Executive Engineers to Superintending Engineers, 129 Assistant Executive Engineers to Executive Engineers, 415 Assistant Engineers to Assistant Executive Engineers, and 665 Junior Engineers to Assistant Engineers. Additionally, 690 officers await essential clearances, currently in process.
Moreover, since September 2022, the department has filled all departmental posts with competent officers by timely posting and placement, including 19 I/c Chief Engineers, 28 I/c Superintending Engineers, and 56 I/c Executive Engineers.
In a remarkable first, the department has also issued seniority lists at various ranks to ensure transparency and stability, eliminating favouritism from career progression. Final seniority lists have been issued for Superintending Engineers, Assistant Engineers (degree holders), and Assistant Engineers (diploma holders), with tentative lists issued for Assistant Executive Engineers (degree holders), Executive Engineers (degree holders), and Assistant Executive Engineers (diploma holders).
The resolution of regularisation matters paves the way for seamless career progression within the Engineering cadre, from Junior Engineer to Chief Engineer.
“This commendable achievement owes much to the visionary leadership of the Lieutenant Governor, as well as the invaluable direction of the Chief Secretary and support from the Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor,” it stated.
Satish Chandra, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, and Zubair Ahmad Raza (Member PSC & Chairman DPC, JSD) have played instrumental roles despite their demanding commitments to ongoing time-bound recruitments.
Shaleen Kabra, Additional Chief Secretary, has led the department tirelessly in addressing these service matters.
These measures bolster the department's capacity to effectively execute the Jal Jeevan Mission, a flagship scheme of the Government of India. This mission aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water, meeting BIS 10500 quality standards at 55 LPCD, to every rural household in J&K, totaling 18.67 lakh households.
Meanwhile, the J&K Electrical Engineering Graduates Association (JKEEGA) extended their heartfelt thanks to the Lieutenant Governor administration for this historic achievement.
Nasir Ahmed, the President of JKEEGA, organised a press conference in Srinagar to express gratitude to the LG administration.
During the press conference, Nasir Ahmed referred to this development as the realization of their long-cherished dreams, saying "the engineers and their supporters are now rejoicing as their persistent struggle has finally borne fruit." He also emphasised the historical injustices faced by many officials in the past as successive governments had disregarded their legitimate demands.
In a gesture of appreciation, Nasir Ahmed thanked LG Manoj Sinha, Chief Secretary Arun Mehta, and Secretary to Jal Shakti, Shaleen Kabra.
Providing details about the regularization process, Nasir Ahmed highlighted that it involved the promotion of 70 Executive Engineers to the rank of Superintending Engineers, marking a significant step forward for these professionals.
The journey leading to this achievement began on October 22, 2019, when the State Administrative Council of Jammu and Kashmir approved the proposal for the regularisation of Power Engineers. This decision also directed the expedited consideration of regular promotion within the Engineering cadre of the Power Development Department by the Competent Authority in the Government, bypassing the usual involvement of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission.
The SAC set a firm deadline for completing this process by November 30, 2019, paving the way for the recent regularisation of engineers' services in the region.
Financial Commissioner (Additional Chief Secretary), Jal Shakti Department, Shaleen Kabra, was not available for official comments on the issue.