Describing promotion of junior officials via reserved categories as 'pick and choose exercise', a group of general category engineers of Public Works Department (PWD) alleged that, despite their seniority, they were being put below category candidates in the departmental hierarchy.
"The administrative department has ruined working atmosphere in PWD (R&B) by bypassing seniors and promoting juniors in the name of reservation rules. Decades of stagnation and insensitive administration in all important PWD (R&B) has frustrated rank and file of the department, particularly degree-holder engineers. The government's failure to focus attention on promotions in stop-gap arrangement and transfers has left us, thus effecting our output," a group of engineers said.
"Juniors have been enjoying accelerated promotions whereas experienced and seniors are condemned to stagnate unheard. The promotion of reserved category candidates to higher posts has become another industry and this ultimately results in compromising with quality of work," an aggrieved engineer alleged.
However, officials in PWD (R&B) refuted the claims of general category candidates regarding 'supersession in promotions by juniors'.
"Reserved category candidates, though ranked junior to their counterparts in general category to promotions to higher posts were entitled to consequential seniority and thus could not be said to continue to remain as juniors," they claimed.
The authorities also asserted that catch-up rule does not apply in view of 85th Amendment Act, 2001 of the Constitution.
The general category engineers contested the assertion saying, "The said Amendment does not apply to state of Jammu and Kashmir."
The engineers have appealed to the governor to 'put a stop to the promotion orders being issued in PWD (R&B) with impunity at the cost of deserving candidates.'
They also threatened to come out with a whitepaper on the issue.