The promotion racket is back with Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) department now trying to outpace the Public Works Department just a day after a deputy chief-minister led joint committee decided to keep such matters in abeyance till finalisation of the procedures.
The matter pertains to the promotion of engineers, which have been held up due to the long-pending trifurcation of PWD, Water Resources and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) departments.
The PWD has been acting as a parent department, allocating engineers to the other two departments though the three of them have been separated for two decades. The promotions were decided at PWD, a practice which continued to ensure that the seniority list of employees - prepared after decision in Pavithra-2 case - is not affected.
On September 19, Deputy Chief Minister Govind M Karjol, who holds the PWD portfolio, chaired a meeting in which officials of the three departments put forward their case about the promotion. Karjol ordered for setting up a committee which will decide on the promotion procedures and it was decided that no department shall take a decision on promotions till then.
However, a day later, the RDPR department came out with two notifications promoting 66 assistant engineers to the post of assistant executive engineers with independent charge. The notifications, both dated September 20, giving effect to promotions have come as a rude shock to senior engineers who called it a blatant violation of the deputy chief minister’s decision.
Sources said a caveat was also filed in the Karnatka Administrative Tribunal to ensure that those opposed to the promotion will not have an easy fight. The Karnataka Engineers’ Association has slammed the RDPR for violating the decision taken at the meeting and doing injustice to thousands of engineers waiting for promotion for years.
“The notifications should be withdrawn immediately. About 2,500 engineers qualified for promotion will suffer injustice due to the arbitrary decision of the RDPR department. The association has decided to initiate legal action,” a member of the association said.
The row over transfers and promotions has refused to die down despite change in government. The PWD has been at the centre of the controversy for long. The RDPR’s violation of the DCM’s order has made it a new entrant.