Chandigarh Administration - With 2,144 posts lying vacant, MC grapples with staff shortage

With 2,144 posts lying vacant, MC grapples with staff shortage; Joint Commissioner writes to Chandigarh Administration

THE CHANDIGARH Municipal Corporation is grappling with staff shortage as about 2,144 posts are lying vacant. The civic body has now written to the Chandigarh Administration requesting it to fill the posts.

While the civic body has raised the issue in every House meeting that the staff crunch was affecting its work, the posts have been lying vacant for years. The worst hit department is the fire department where 362 posts are lying vacant; of the vacant posts, 216 are those of firemen.

Joint Commissioner Manoj Khatri claims that they have written a letter to the UT Administration regarding the filling up of vacant posts. “The administration has asked details of the posts which need to be filled. It would be done soon,” said Khatri. The Joint Commissioner has written to get posts of Junior Engineers, SDOs in various departments and particularly of the fire department filled.

A senior official asserts that due to lack of sufficient funds, the posts could not be filled. “The condition is such that the salaries this time had to be paid from the fixed deposits and more staff means that the MC requires more funds. That is the reason the administration is little hesitant to fill up the posts,” he said.

As per official figures, in the office of medical officer of health (MOH) wing, there are 894 posts vacant which includes sanitary inspectors as well.

The fire and emergency department has 362 posts while 240 are filled of the total 602 sanctioned. Of the vacant posts, 73 are that of leading firemen and 216 are of firemen. There are only 20 leading firemen and 142 firemen with the MC. There are four station fire officers also whose posts are lying vacant. The staff is overburdened due to lack of sufficient strength.

“The issue of filling posts has always been taken up at the administration’s level. But their concern has always been that the MC will have to pay from its own generated revenue and the administration will not give anything more under the non-plan head. Also, because there have been certain discrepancies when recruitment was initiated for JE and SDOs, the issue was kept in hold,” says former mayor Subhash Chawla.

In the public health wing, the MC faces a shortage of 576 employees while in the buildings and roads wing, there are 230 vacant posts. In the public health wing, there are only nine sub-divisional engineers working against the sanctioned 23 posts.

In the electrical division of the MC, there are only two street light inspectors working against 11 posts. Nine of the posts are lying vacant. Similarly, four junior engineers are also required and there is none here.

There are 58 posts lying vacant in the CMC office, including the sub-office of Manimajra. “The work suffers when an employee is overburdened. Even as separate areas have to be divided among firemen if a fire takes place, those particular firemen have to work during day and night as well,” said a fireman.
When contacted, Home Secretary Anurag Aggarwal said, “I will check this up. They are free to fill up any posts that they have. However, they have to have resources to pay.”