Srinagar, May 30: As many as 38 Class IV employees of the Jal Shakti Department in north Kashmir's Baramulla district remain in a distressing situation.
The employees await salaries for the past 29 months. The selection process for the recruitment of aspirants for Class IV positions in different departments in Baramulla, including the 38 candidates who are without salaries was initiated in 2006 and the selection list was finally released in 2020.
After enduring a long wait of 14 years to secure their positions, these recruits of Jal Shakti department Baramulla are without salaries.
The candidates, who had been living in a state of uncertainty for over a decade, were filled with hope and relief when they were finally recruited into the department in 2020.
However, their joy has been short-lived as they now find themselves embroiled in a new struggle.
"These posts were advertised through notification no. 04/ddcb of 2006 issued by the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Baramulla and the selection list was published on December 16 of 2020 followed by appointment order no. dcb/ps/23/2020, dated 17/12/2020 which resulted in the appointment of 184 candidates across nine different departments," an aggrieved employee told Greater Kashmir.
He said the employees were assigned to different departments like the Agriculture Production department, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Forest, Jalshakti (PHE) department, R&B, Revenue, Rural Development, School Education, and Tourism department.
"But only 38 candidates recruited in the Jal Shakti department have not received salaries for the past two years and five months," the employee said.
Despite dedicating their time and efforts to their duties in the department, their financial situation has become dire forcing them to face tremendous hardships in meeting their daily needs.
The employees have made numerous appeals and lodged complaints with the higher authorities in the Jal Shakti department and the district administration seeking a resolution to their unpaid salaries.
However, they are yet to receive a satisfactory response or any concrete action. "We approached the Superintendent Engineer regarding our case, and we were informed that the report was submitted to the higher-ups for further action. We have been suffering for the past two and a half years and no one has been able to provide a solution to our problem," another employee said.
Chief Engineer Jal Shakti Department Kashmir Sanjeev Malhotra said the issue was pending in the department from 2021, noting that he assumed the charge only a month ago.
"And the call has to be taken by the General Administration Department (GAD)," he told Greater Kashmir.
Asked about the reason for non-payment of the salary to the aggrieved employees, the Chief Engineer said the concerned Deputy Commissioner (DC) Baramulla at the time of issuing appointment orders in 2020 did not use the nomenclature of the posts which were available with the department. "That is why these employees are facing the problem," he said.