The urban development and municipal affairs (UDMA) department allegedly sits idle on recruitment and promotion process of engineers in civic bodies across the state at the backdrop when the central investigating agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam found alleged irregularities in recruitment of around 5,000 employees in different municipal bodies.
Firhad Hakim, UDMA minister, on Wednesday had proposed to the state government that district magistrates (DM) oversee recruitments in group D staff in municipalities with help of a committee.
Hardly, four years ago, the UDMA department had prepared recruitment, transfer and posting process of engineers starting from sub-assistant engineers, assistant engineers, executive engineers to chief engineers in 124 municipal bodies, including Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) in the city and districts under an umbrella called West Bengal Municipal Engineers Service (WBMES).
The Mamata Banerjee cabinet had also approved recruitment of around 1,550 engineers for the municipalities. Since then nothing has been done to implement the cabinet decision, sources in Nagorayan Bhaban, UDMA headquarters at Salt Lake said.
Sources said, “Every municipal body usually recruits engineers as per its requirement on the basis of vacancies. There was no specific system for recruitment, posting, promotion and transfer of engineers in municipalities because of no proper service process, under WBMES, is approved by the government. An engineer without any transfer policy system has to spend his or her entire service period at the same municipality.”
“The prime aim to form the WBMES is to destroy an unholy racket between the mayor or chairman and mayor-in-council (MIC) members of a municipal corporation or municipality and a section of engineers, who spend their entire service period of more than 30 years in the same civic body. The WBMES was created to streamline all the issues,” the sources felt.
According to a commissioner of a municipal corporation, “Recruitment of senior engineers for permanent post in a municipal corporation is done by the West Bengal Municipal Service Commission. I don’t have any idea about the formation of WBMES. For municipal bodies, recruitment is conducted as per their local requirements.
” Khalil Ahmed, principal secretary in charge UDMA department, did