BHUBANESWAR: Large scale vacancies in different departments at the field level have affected routine government works aggravating problems due to shortage of engineers and doctors.
At a time when drought and drinking water shortage have emerged as major problems before the State Government, more than one third of the posts are lying vacant in agriculture and rural development departments. According to latest government estimate, while 4800 posts are vacant in Agriculture Department, 2097 posts have not been filled up in Rural Development Department. Both the departments directly deal with welfare of people in rural areas.
More than 700 posts of engineer are vacant in Rural Development Department out of the total 2097 vacancies. Similarly, in Agriculture Department, 3011 and 486 Grade C and Grade B posts are vacant respectively. These are field level posts which have direct link with the welfare of the farmers.
The School and Mass Education Department leads with 75,072 vacancies which has rendered primary education in rural areas almost non-existent. Number of vacancies in Home Department is 17,182 while in Health Department it is 13,004. Similarly, in Revenue Department, which also has a direct dealing with people, 10,519 posts are vacant.
Official sources said 1,64,328 vacant posts include 6187 Grade A posts, 7224 are Grade B posts, 1,22,683 Grade C posts and 17,388 Grade D posts. Besides, the vacancies include 10,846 grant-in-aid posts in different departments.
Surprisingly, there has been no annual establishment review during the last three years to take stock of the number of vacancies and new appointments made.
The vacancies have particularly affected work in rural development, health, school and mass education, revenue and agriculture departments. Lack of government officials at the ground level has sparked off resentment at many places as routine works are not being done.
At several places across the State, there were angry responses from villagers who are affected because of shortage of staff including doctors, engineers, extension officers and other officials.