Staff shortage affects BWSSB services

Nearly one-and-a-half years later, the posts are still vacant. This has impacted the public in a big way.   

Vacancies had been called to fill up 655 posts, inclusive of 150 engineers, 197 administrative staff, 78 sanitary workers, 193 helpers, 35 meter readers and two chemists. Over 50,000 applications were received for the same when the deadline expired on March 24, 2008, a top official informed.

Written test and interview process have concluded months ago but the induction of new staff is yet to happen. “It should have happened six months ago,” said a source. “This shortage amounts to delayed response to public grievances, be it complaints relating to water supply, drainage blockage,” he added.

Increase in connection
Enormity of the shortage can be gauged when we note that the same strength of over 2,300 staff members, who tended to all water and sanitary requirements of the City in 1985 continue to do so even now. This is despite the incorporation of seven CMCs and one TMC into BBMP. The water supply connections provided by the Board, meanwhile, have gone up by five times the number that existed during that year (1.3 lakh connections).

BWSSB is almost 50% short of the staff strength it actually requires. It is imperative that every AEE, who is in charge of a sub-division, be provided four to five engineers to assist in taking care of the service stations, numbering three or four.

“Unfortunately, most places have only two engineers and areas like Whitefields or Kothanur Dinne have only one AE in place,” said a top official. The shortage exists in the category of meter readers, valve men and other maintenance staff too, he added.
Repeated attempts to meet Chairperson, BWSSB, Dr B Ramamurthy, went in vain.

The Chief Administrative Officer, in-charge of the recruitment process, is on a visit abroad. Reasons for the delay in recruitment given by other officials vary. According to one top official, the model code of conduct in place due to the Assembly elections, Lok Sabha elections and the byelections delayed recruitment activity during those periods. Another said that many of the certificates and community certificates submitted by the applicants were getting cross-checked with colleges and officials across the State, taking considerable time.   

Different qualification
Another explanation was the different qualification of applicants. “While engineers of different streams are generally eligible for the engineer posts, `Transportation Engineers’ and some AMIE degree holders are also in the reckoning this time around, causing some confusion to the recruitment committee.” The process is expected to be completed shortly, assured another official.

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