Despite jobs being one of the core agendas in the run-up to the Assembly elections in Bihar last year with the ruling NDA announcing to create 19 lakh jobs for the youth of the state, the situation on the ground remains largely unchanged. A large number of posts for engineers lying vacant in different government departments only substantiate this fact.
The IANS has obtained specific information about 64 per cent posts of engineers lying vacant in various government departments.
According to a top official, of the total of 6,322 posts of assistant engineers, executive engineers, superintending engineers and chief engineers in different departments like road construction, rural development, public health, water resources, building construction, urban housing and development and planning, as many as 4,051 are lying vacant.
“The recruitment of engineers starts at the assistant engineer level, generally in the road construction and water resources departments. Following seniority, these engineers are transferred to other departments after promotion. Besides, direct recruitment also takes place in other departments,” said Dilip Kumar Dinkar, General Secretary, Subordinate Engineers Service Commission (SOESC), Bihar.
At present, of the 4,680 sanctioned posts for assistant engineers in various departments, 3,289 are lying vacant. Besides, of the 1,249 executive engineers’ posts, 529 are vacant in different departments.
Similarly, 317 posts of superintending engineers are sanctioned in different departments of which 170 are vacant. There are 65 posts for chief engineers and 52 of them are vacant. Of the 11 posts for engineering heads, 10 are vacant.
“As engineers are not getting timely promotion, they are not reaching the top posts. Hence, the majority of the posts at the senior level are vacant now. The state government has not given a promotion to engineers since 2018,” Dinkar said.
“The state government is deliberately delaying or not giving promotion to avoid vacant posts at the junior level. If the junior engineers get promoted as executive engineers, the posts of junior engineers will become vacant,” Dinkar said.
Sunil Kumar Sinha, the President of SOESC, said: “Seventy-five per cent posts of subordinate level engineers (junior engineers) in Bihar are vacant. The government has hired around 15 per cent engineers on a contract basis in various departments. We have urged the concern ministers several times to fill the posts, but without any result.”
Past history suggests that the state government initiates the recruitment process just before the assembly elections to lure the voters.
In 2004, 125 engineers were given jobs in different departments and the Assembly elections were held in 2005. Similarly, in the last month of 2008, 500 assistant engineers were given jobs while the Assembly elections were held in 2010.
In 2014, 900 persons were selected as assistant engineers, a year before the Assembly elections.