Rendered jobless, engineers urge govt to reconsider decision to wind up SHG scheme

Around 4,500 engineers who were working under Self-Help Groups (SHG) scheme which has been abolished, on Wednesday appealed the government to reconsider the decision.

The scheme was launched by the then J&K government in 2003. It provided for allocation of 30 percent of the total works in government departments, corporations and autonomous bodies to SHGs, comprising unemployed engineers, as an alternative to government jobs.

Last Monday, the government abolished the scheme with immediate effect. An order issued by General Administration Department said “. . . practice of reserving a proportion of projects for Self Help Groups of engineers is abolished forthwith”.

President SHG Engineers Association, Syed Parveez Safvi said a large number of people including engineers and those who worked with them will be hit by the decision.

He said the SHGs have participated in development of J&K over the years and completed projects in time-bound manner.

“We took lead in installing power meters across J&K, constructing sewerage treatment plants and power towers,” he said.

He said the SHGs were engaged in different projects pertaining to Roads and Building, PDD, Rural Development, Jal Shakti, Tourism, SMC Srinagar, JMC Jammu and others.

He appealed to the government to review the decision and reauthorize the SHGs to work in government projects.

Safvi said the government has also not released over Rs 70 crores payment due to the engineers in J&K.