THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: KSEB Engineers Association, an apolitical organisation in the state electricity board, has alleged the board is in for pruning and abolishing a large number of posts. The association argued there are 34,000 posts of employees in the board of which approximately 4,500 are engineers.
N T Job, state president of the engineers association, while speaking to Express said, “Recently there are around 4,500 engineers in the board, including 1,000-odd engineers of the Civil Department and the board has made a report prepared by a committee and passed it on to the heads of Generation and Civil to revert after further studies”.
Chairman and managing director of state electricity board NS Pillai said, “The allegation is unfounded and the board has not decided any such action. Indeed, a study was conducted and IIM Kozhikode was involved in that study which had directed restructuring and redeploying staff, it will not affect even the promotion prospects of these engineers, leave alone affecting their jobs. But the board cannot move on without taming the expenditure part which is on a high pedestal as of now.”
The engineers, however, argue the study of IIM Kozhikode was conducted during the previous UDF Government’s tenure and that study did not mention abolishing posts. Instead, it was more on computerisation of several ministerial jobs. The main point of an argument is the present committee which studied the abolishing of posts and pruning and redeployment had three senior ministerial officers and the report was heavily favouring the ministerial staff instead of engineers.
“We have circulated the report to all the department heads and we are waiting for their response. The board has already `900 crore civil work in hand and what is wrong in redeploying a part of the Civil engineers in these works? There has not been any construction activity in KSEB for the past 10 years.”
Engineers, however, state that the electricity board banks mainly on the expertise of engineers and is a technical organisation. According to Job, “KSEB is bringing up the theory that electricity regulatory commission is allowing only 27,000 posts, the same board is purchasing electricity from outside without getting the consent of the regulatory commission.”
It may be noted the main problem faced by the dominant engineers association is that it is a totally apolitical body and it does not get the political patronage for pushing their arguments. They are of the feel the board should take a more lenient attitude towards the engineers rather than abolishing and pruning the posts.