While the state government has announced its plan to commence construction work on the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial later this month, officials in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial Project Division within the state’s Public Works Department (PWD) have pointed out that only eight out of a total sanctioned strength of 46 posts are currently posted to work on the ambitious project. In addition, since January, the project division has not had a full-time executive engineer.
According to records obtained by The Indian Express through the Right to Information Act, the chief engineer of the PWD’s Mumbai region had written to the principal secretary, PWD, on September 4, underlining the need to fill the vacant posts in the project division.
The post of executive engineer, who heads the project division, has been vacant since January. Besides, of the total five sanctioned posts of deputy engineers, only three have been appointed while two posts remain vacant. Of the 21 sanctioned posts of junior engineers, only three have been filled while there are only two technical assistants out of a total 18 sanctioned posts. The post of the divisional accountant officer is also vacant.
The letter by the chief engineer of the Mumbai region, in Marathi, says that “the contract agreement for the memorial of international standards has been signed but it doesn’t have a full-time executive engineer.”
It adds, “Since the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial project work will commence soon, full time officials and staff are required.”
Records also reveal that since January 2018, five executive engineers in the project division have been replaced. Executive engineer D D Baravkar was transferred on January 9, 2018, and K P Patil, executive engineer in the Mumbai Roads Development and Design division at Wadala, was given additional charge.
On June 28, deputy engineer S S Misal, working with the project division, was given additional charge as executive engineer of the project division citing “administrative reasons”. With Misal going on medical leave from August 3, S S Gangurde, executive engineer in the Road Development division, Andheri, was given additional charge.
On August 16, again citing “administrative reasons”, P K Patil, executive engineer of Aarey, Goregaon, was given additional charge as the project division’s executive engineer.
Ajit Sagane, secretary of the PWD, admitted that there are several posts vacant in the division. “The staff was not required as the paperwork of the memorial was being carried out all this while. Now, with the construction of the memorial set to start soon, we will fill all the vacant posts of engineers and other staff. That will be required for monitoring the project,” said Sagane.