R&B Department Headless For A Fortnight, Works Suffer

SRINAGAR: While development continues to be the main focus of the Jammu and Kashmir administration, the key crisis in the developmental infrastructure remains off site. Kashmir’s Road and Buildings department is headless after the Chief Engineer superannuated last month.

Insiders in R&B Kashmir said their Chief Engineer, Showkat Jeelani, retired on September 30, and his replacement is yet to come.

“By September 13, the authorities had promoted four Superintending Engineers including Mufti Imran, Javaid Iqbal Bukhari, Shakti Sagar and Rajan Mengi, to the position of Chief Engineers and were given effect from October 1,” one insider said. “Two of them were immediately placed to newer position by the same order and two others are still waiting for their new postings.” This, he said, triggered rumours that the government was perhaps planning to install a junior Superintending Engineer to the key post.

The department insiders said they have about 200 positions of Assistant Engineer and Assistant Executive Engineers vacant but the parent department is not issuing promotion order’s to eligible candidates despite of completion of all formalities long back.

This has led to the shortage of engineering personnel at different levels. In certain cases, the government is reappointing retired engineers to take care of various works. In this regard, the Rural Development Department – that is technically fed by R&B staff, has issued an order that retired engineers should be re-hired.

“The department has around 300 positions of junior engineers vacant,” one official said. Open source data suggests that around 8000 engineers are idle and unemployed in Jammu and Kashmir.

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