It was a novel protest in which top brass of the Power Development Department (PDD) joined their colleagues to express resentment against "adhocism" in the department.
PDD Chief Engineers including Shahnaz Goni joined the protests held under the banner of J&K Electrical Engineering Graduates Association in premises of Bemina Grid Station here
"We are posted as Incharge officers on higher posts but never promoted along with grade and pay. Many Incharge Chief Engineers, Senior Superintendents retired as Executive Engineers," said Er Ajaz A Dar addressing the gathering.
Elaborating, he said that Assistant Executive Engineer has been posted as Incharge senior superintendent and chief engineers but on their own pay and grade.
"Recently, Bashir Ahmad Khan, one of the incharge chief engineers retired. But his pension case was considered on his own pay and grade. He has been shown to have retired as AEE," he said.
Er Azhar Matoo, said that there are around 1500 such cases in the department where officials have been posted as incharge.
"It is sheer injustice with us. We work and deliver services to people all the time. We are given additional responsibilities. But the unfortunate thing is that we are paid salaries of lower posts and we retire as junior officials too," he said.
He claimed that the present incharge Chief Engineer on official papers is still mentioned as AEE. "Tomorrow, when she would retire, she would not get the benefits she deserves as Chief Engineer. But her pension case would also be treated as the case AEE," he rued.
Besides PDC incharge Chief Engineer Muzafar Matoo, Chief Engineer System and Operation Kashmir, Khurshid Ahmad Budooo, SEs, JEs and other PDD officials were also the part of the protest.
They said that former NC-Congress regime had completed all the formalities to put an end to the trend and promote the officials on merit along with their pay and grade.
"Ironically, the file is gathering dust in the office of Finance Commissioner. The previous government had also agreed to release Rs seven crore which is the financial implication of this long pending proposal. However, the file is gathering dust at secretariat," they said.
They demanded confirmation to their present posts with increase in pay and grade.
Er Pirzada Hidayatullah, President JKEEGA led the protest at Srinagar. "Adhocism, non-filling of vacant post at all levels and cadre, in-charge culture, additional charge scenario, stopgap arrangement, non-regularization attitude, so on and so forth is the order of the day and not only is this seriously plaguing the working of department in general but adversely affecting the career progression of engineers in particular," he said.
They protestors appealed Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister to personally intervene in the matter and issue instructions to complete process of regularization and implementation of ACP without any further delay.
"It has been decided that the Electrical Engineers working in JKPDD/JKSPDC shall be left with no option but to resort to a three hour token power strike from 12:00 noon to 3:00PM on Tuesday 18th April 2017 if the Government does not take due notice of our demands," said Er Ajaz A Dar.