CM permits short-staffed ULBs to hire retired engineers, consultants

CM permits short-staffed ULBs to hire retired engineers, consultants

CM permits short-staffed ULBs to hire retired engineers, consultants

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday gave permission to short-staffed urban local bodies (ULBs), including city corporations, to hire the services of retired PWD engineers and programme management consultants.

The retired engineers and consultants will prepare project plans under various schemes of the government. The ULBs have not been able to implement many of the schemes due to staff shortage. Hence, the Chief Minister gave permission to hire retired PWD engineers and consultants, Minister for Municipalities and Local Bodies Eshwar Khandre told reporters after attending a meeting chaired by Siddaramaiah to review the performance of the Urban Development Department (UDD).

According to the power-point presentation by the UDD on the vacancies, close to 60% of sanctioned posts in ULBs are vacant. Of the 11,342 sanctioned posts in 10 city corporations, excluding the BBMP, as many as 5,757 posts are vacant. Of the total 21,642 sanctioned posts in other ULBs, 11,495 are currently vacant.

Moreover, of the total 3,776 sanctioned posts identified as “critical staff”, as many as 2,164 posts are vacant. For instance, the Koppal City Municipal Council (CMC) does not have a single engineer though it has 17 sanctioned posts of engineers. As a result, the TMC has so far not been able to prepare action plan under the 13th Finance Commission grants for the period 2014-15.

Khandre said the government has initiated steps to fill up the vacant posts. Karnataka Public Service Commission has been asked to conduct recruitments to fill 3,620 vacant posts. The ULBs will take the assistance of retired engineers and the consultans till the recruitments are done, he added.

Nagarothana scheme
Nagarothana scheme (Phase III), which envisages upgrading infrastructure in 10 city corporations, excluding the BBMP, has been progressing at a snail’s pace. The progress achieved under the scheme, taken up in 2013-14, is a mere 21%. The city corporations have been able to spend only Rs 222.79 crore in the last three years of the total availability of Rs 1,000 crore. City corporations of Ballari, Belagavi, Vijayapura and Mysuru are the worst performers. Upset with the slow pace of implementation of the scheme, the chief minister took the UDD officials to task and directed them to implement the scheme in a time-bound manner, sources in the UDD said.

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