Expressing discontent over non-compliance with the order issued two years ago pertaining to filling of vacant posts, the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has directed the Chandigarh electricity department to fill the posts within three months.
The order was issued on July 13 while hearing a petition filed by UT Powermen Union for implementation of manpower study.
Following directions of JERC, the department had got a manpower study conducted which had highlighted acute staff shortage in the department. Based on the findings of the study, the commission on June 24, 2014, had directed the department to fill all the vacant posts in a phased manner.
Gopal Dutt Joshi, general secretary of the union, informed the commission that the department had failed to comply with the directions issued in 2014. He argued that the staff shortage was hampering the functioning of the department and preventive maintenance had emerged as a prime area of concern.
UT superintending engineer M P Singh informed the commission that they had initiated that process and were waiting for approval from the Ministry of Power to fill the vacant posts.
The order issued by the commission reads: “The commission noticed that there is no compliance with the order dated June 24, 2014 wherein the electricity department was directed to fulfil the vacancies in a phased manner as per the extant rules and regulations. The submissions of UT superintending engineer M P Singh clearly indicate that action has been initiated at their end at a very slow pace.”
“The commission is of the view that administrative action was required on the part of the department to comply with the said order of the commission, dated June 24, 2014. Now the electricity department has to take necessary administrative action to fulfil the vacancies in a phased manner as per the extant rules and regulations within three months.”
As per the office records, the department has a total of 1,049 employees against the sanctioned strength of 1,780. The department had sought approval for additional workforce from the ministry in June 2015. The field staff is the worst affected by staff shortage. Against the sanctioned strength of 625 of assistant linemen, the department is managing with 286 employees while only 158 linemen are working against the sanctioned strength of 253. As many as 38 posts of junior engineers are lying vacant. A total of nine posts of assistant executive engineer are lying unfilled too.