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Bengal government mulls pool of engineers

Move to cover all municipalities and corporations, barring Calcutta

By Subhajoy Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 1.08.19, 2:36 AM
  • Updated 1.08.19, 2:36 AM
  • 2 mins read
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The official said that under the existing practice an engineer remained posted in the same local body throughout his/her career. But under the proposed plan, engineers from the pool would be transferred across the state. (Shutterstock)

The urban development department has drafted a plan to recruit a common pool of engineers who would serve across all municipalities and municipal corporations in Bengal, barring Calcutta.

If the plan gets cabinet approval, then the municipal corporations of Howrah and Bidhannagar, too, would get their future engineers from the pool. Officials of the department said the move was aimed at getting more qualified engineers to work for building infrastructure in urban areas.

Under the existing practice, municipalities and municipal corporations recruit their own engineers. Officials said several municipalities in the state didn’t have enough qualified engineers to plan and implement infrastructure projects of medium and large scale.

A senior official of the department told Metro that the municipal service commission would conduct examinations to recruit the common pool of engineers.

“We have planned to end the existing practice where all municipalities and municipal corporations recruit their people. Under the proposed system, there will be a common pool from where engineers will be posted in urban local bodies,” he said.

The official said that under the existing practice an engineer remained posted in the same local body throughout his/her career. But under the proposed plan, engineers from the pool would be transferred across the state. “Working at the same place for so many years often leads to corruption. Transfer from one municipality to another will reduce the chance of corruption,” said the official.

He said that with an increasing urban growth there was a need to build good and long-lasting infrastructure such as roads, sewer networks, waste management systems and water supply networks. To carry out these jobs there is a need for good engineers who can plan and execute the projects efficiently.

The official said there were several municipalities in Bengal where the senior-most engineer is of the rank of assistant engineer. Some municipalities have executive engineers as the highest ranked engineer. As a result qualified engineers do not apply for the posts.

“If we can change this practice and give an engineer the opportunity to reach the rank of chief engineer, then we will get more qualified engineers. Also it is unfair to give someone only one promotion in the entire career,” the official said.

There are six municipal corporations in Bengal, barring thee Calcutta Municipal Corporation, and 118 municipalities. Municipal corporations provide services in areas with a bigger population, while municipalities serve a smaller population.

An engineer working for a municipal corporation said that the proposed mechanism could be misused, too. He said someone not agreeing to do some unethical work could be posted far away from home as an act of vengeance.

The government, however, claims the plan is to post junior engineer in smaller municipalities where the work is basic and not very challenging. With seniority the person will get posted in bigger municipalities and corporations.

The urban development department has sent the proposal to the finance department for creating the posts. A source in the urban development department said that based on recommendations of the finance department, the proposal would be placed before the state cabinet for approval.

“We are awaiting response from the finance department. If it approves the proposal or gives any recommendation, we will place it before the state cabinet for approval,” the source said.

Once the cabinet approves the creation of new posts, the government will issue an order and recruitment can be rolled out.