RTI reveals staff crunch in govt offices in M'rashtra

Employment exchange recruitment much below par, data reveals

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | June 1, 2011



A reply to an RTI query on staff strength and vacancies at state government offices in Maharashtra has revealed a severe crunch across levels.

A Mantralaya reply to Mohammad Afzal's query says that there is a vacany of 7 percent in class A posts and a vacancy of 22 percent each in class B and C posts. Similarly, 16 percent of class D posts remain unoccupied currently.

The various transport offices in the state have recorded a 27 percent vacancy with 953 posts remaining vacant while recruitment for 3,580 posts has been sanctioned. Similarly, the Mumbai traffic department suffers with 50 posts unoccupied while it has a recruitment sanction for 144 posts.

"The state government is creating class A and B posts, which are signing authorities mostly. While the actual work on ground gets done by class C and D employees. This is creating an imbalance," Afzal says.

"So, diversion of staff for special duties like census, poll work creates a stress on the manpower at these offices. Work hardly gets done and the masses suffer. For example, at the ration card office, a new beneficiary's name or change in address has to be added to an existing card within seven days of application. So, when people approach the office with such concerns they are often told that the concerned officer is unavailable as he/she has been drafted for poll duty. Thus, the verification gets delayed and so is the registration of change in details. Similarly, at the state information commissioner's office, staff shortage is increasing pendency of cases. The state has to look into these matters soon," he notes.

This shortage, however, seems to be symptomatic of a larger problem. The government, faced with a funds crunch, had frozen recruitment for class III and class IV officials as it could not implement sixth pay commission salarly scales.

The RTI reply also reveals gross under-utilisation of employment exchanges by the government. The government must mandatorily notify vacancies in its offices at employment exchanges. However, only 1 percent of recruitment so far has been made in the Konkan division offices from employment exchanges across the region.

From the 3,110 registrations at the Mumbai employment exchange, only 2 posts out of 237 notified between January 2010 and February 2011 were filled.

Similarly, at the Alibaug exchange, 9 recruitments were made out of the 654 vacancies notified in the same period.

In the physically handicapped category at Navi Mumbai exchange, 19 vacancies were notified between January - December 2010.  Only one recruitment was made from the 160 applications received for these posts.

"I have written to the chief minister seeking clarifications on the HR policy at state government offices," Afzal says. "However, I do not think I will receive a positive reply," he adds.

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