While the city may have grown,from 30 sectors about two decades ago to over 60 now,there are only four junior engineers (JE) in the building branch to oversee the entire city. The number assumes significance as the junior engineers are required to check violations and encroachments in all the 60 sectors.
A reality check in the building branch of the UT Estate Office,entrusted with the responsibility of keeping a tab on encroachments and violations and issuing corresponding notices to the violators,reveals that even after over two decades,no new posts have been created to share the workload of the entire city.
In the past,there were nine posts for junior engineers and six posts of draftsmen in the city and in the current situation where workload has increased manifold there are only four junior engineers and three draftsmen.
Whenever a building plan is submitted,the concerned JE of the area is required to physically inspect the premises before the plan is sanctioned and is also responsible for keeping a tab after it is approved to see if any changes have been made in the plan during the construction work.
It was almost a decade ago when the department of engineering was merged with the Estate Office and the former was given the responsibility of making a common pool of engineers for both the departments.
Sources in the Estate Office say the last time these vacancies were filled was almost seven years ago and at that time all the recruited JEs were sent to the UT Engineering department.
The severity of the shortage of junior engineers could be gauged from the fact that in the recent past,despite blatant violations in marla houses which are over 13000 in number,notices could be sent to less than 30 per cent of the violators.
When contacted UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas said: In a recent meeting held with the UT Advisor K K Sharma,there was a detailed deliberations on formulating the recruitment rules in different departments.
We are going to fill up the vacancies in all the departments soon,added Niwas.
The workload is so much and the situation is so bad that no body wants to come here from the UT Engineering department.
We have to make do with whatever manpower we have,said a senior official of Estate Office.
The worst is that even for a minor flaw,show cause notices are issued at the slightest hint. How is it physically possible to oversee the violations in over 15000 houses assigned to each one of us,laments a junior engineer who did not wish to be named.
In fact,the Estate Office has written to the UT Administration several times to create a separate quota or cadre for junior engineers but so far none of the communications done in the past have borne any fruits.