Settlement Assistants await regularisation for 12 years

Greater Kashmir

The Settlement Assistants appointed in the Revenue department are still waiting for regularisation of their jobs despite repeated recommendations made by the authorities for their absorption.

In 2008, Settlement Assistants were appointed in the Revenue department by a selection committee under the cabinet decision.

Later, in 2009 the assistants having completed their graduation qualified the required tests after they were imparted Patwar training.

“We were deputed in far flung areas of Kashmir and Jammu divisions for completion of settlement work in 2008 on a meager remuneration of Rs 2000 per month,” said a group of aggrieved Settlement Assistants.

They said that in 2011 Financial Commissioner Revenue recommended the government to utilise the services of “Patwar exam qualified Settlement Assistants” as Patwaries but this recommendation had not been implemented till date.

In 2013, Settlement Commissioner and Financial Commissioner Revenue again recommended to the government that the J&K Revenue (Subordinate) Services Recruitment Rules-2009 be amended and 10 percent posts of Patwaries be reserved for “Patwar exam Qualified Settlement Assistants” for their adjustment against vacant posts of Patwaries to fill up the vacant posts.

The aggrieved group said that the government having involved young boys and using their prime youth for strenuous and labour is supposed to devise a career plan for their adjustment on a permanent basis.

“We have completed over a decade in service and put our best to serve in the department. We have made and proved our excellence in the field we are working in. After spending our precious years in the service of the department, it is only revenue department where we have a future against requisite job profiles of various posts,” they added.

They demanded that recruitment rules should be amended and ten percent of patwar posts should be ear marked for “Patwar Exam Qualified Settlement Assistants.”

They said in 2014, the government created various administrative units and it was decided to absorb settlement assistants in these administrative units as per their qualification and experience against the vacancies.

“It was also decided to constitute a committee for making suggestions for their absorption in the department against available posts as per the cabinet decision No 128/11/2014,” they said.

In 2014, a high-powered committee said that there were around 200 Settlement Assistants who were being paid Rs 2000 per month which was too meager.

Accordingly, the committee decided that their services should be utilised in the newly-created administrative units and recommends that service rule should be amended.

“Some Settlement Assistants of our batch from Ladakh approached the High Court and on its order got their jobs regularised,” they said.

Presently, Settlement Assistants are paid Rs 150 per day (Rs 4500 per month), which the aggrieved said was not even close to the Minimum Wages Act.

“From 2008 till date except recommendations we received nothing. In J&K there are only 177 Settlement Assistants and all having experience of more than 12 years. We demand regularisation of our services,” they said appealing Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to personally intervene into the matter.