BENGALURU: You don’t have to be an engineer to hold the post of a chief engineer in Karnataka. Not just that. The top man can be a junior level official too. Two out of 54 Chief Engineers (CE) in the PWD and Water Resources Department are from non-technical background. Sources in the government told Express that while one is from the state finance department, the other is from the agriculture department. While the former, an accounts officer, is posted as Chief Engineer in-charge at Upper Krishna Project of PWD, the latter is CE in-charge of Command Area Development Authority of the Water Resources Department.
As the state government is yet to finalise the list of Chief Engineers, junior level officials with non-engineering background are holding these top posts as additional charge in these two departments. In fact, 21 such posts are managed by “in-charge” Chief Engineers.Under Rule 32 of Karnataka Civil Services Rules, vacant posts can be filled through an in-charge arrangement as a temporary measure. In the PWD and Water Resources Department, there have been no promotions for the last many years, and the posts of Chief Engineers are managed by junior officials and also officials on deputation from various departments and corporations.
For instance, at present, 21 Chief Engineer posts are ‘’managed’’ by officials of corporations like Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited, Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation, Karnataka State Construction Corporation Limited, Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Limited, to name a few.
Sources from PWD explained that CE posts at these 21 places are given to superintending engineers, assistant executive engineers and other junior officials. “One post itself comes with so much of responsibility, how can a single person handle three at a time?’’ asked a PWD official who did not wish to be named.
There have been no promotions for the last 10 years and the sections are managed by in-charge engineers as the cases on promotions were pending before various courts, Chandrahasa, Under Secretary (DPAR), said. Now that the SC has given the go ahead, promotions will be done on a regular basis, he said.