'Mamool' Racket Blamed for Repatriation of Engineers

Over 100 shunted out from Minor Irrigation Dept, many say they got ‘collection’ calls

Published: 30th May 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th May 2015 03:55 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: The Minor Irrigation Department has sent back more than 100 engineers to their parent department without assigning any reason for the repatriation.

Their ranks range from junior engineer to superintending engineer, and they are now back with the Public Works Department (PWD).

Mamool.JPGThe en masse repatriation has raised suspicion, with the engineers alleging that people close to a minister were behind the unprecedented action. The repatriation was effected with the help of four orders. One order issued on May 2, 2015, repatriated 21 assistant executive engineers. Express holds a copy of the order.

With the gram panchayat elections in progress, the engineers find themselves in the lurch, as the election code of conduct bars fresh postings till June 10.

“What is our fault? The order should have mentioned the reason: was it dereliction of duty, corruption or indiscipline?” said an engineer, narrating his plight to Express. The engineers can't draw salaries till they get their next posting. “Getting an alternative posting from the PWD is not easy, and comes at a price,” said one of the affected engineers.

Most engineers have not completed even their minimum entitlement of two years in their respective postings. They can serve in a post for up to five years. “Such mass repatriation is unheard of in the Minor Irrigation Department,” said a source.

Many engineers said people claiming to be close to Minor Irrigation Minister Shivaraja Thangadagi had called them up for money. “They demand money for continuing in a post, and even promise to get us postings of our choice. Those who refuse to pay suffer,” an engineer told Express. The demands allegedly range from `3 lakh from junior engineers to `25 lakh from superintending engineers.

Shivashankar, president of the Karnataka State Engineers Association, described the repatriation as unfair. “I will take up the issue with the chief minister,” he said.

He admitted corruption at the PWD, Water Resources and Minor Irrigation Departments was “an open secret”. The move affects inspection of work as no alternative engineers have been posted there, Shivashankar said.


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