VELLORE: Over 2,000 posts are still lying vacant in Vellore Corporation, which has directly impacted development works planned and executed by the civic body. The Commissionerate of Municipal Administration (CMA) in Chennai has not taken any steps despite repeated proposals sent by the Corporation. The lack of personnel for these posts has further burdened the existing staff of the Corporation.
Corporation records showed that 2,176 posts were vacant. In spite of having upgraded Vellore to Corporation status in 2008, the government was yet to fill the posts.
Since 2008, 1,739 additional posts were to be filled by the Corporation. As on August 2014, 436 posts fell vacant after officials holding the posts retired. These posts too are to be filled. In the department of general service 191 posts are vacant, engineering service department, 196, public health service department, 31, and in the basic service department 1,314 posts are vacant. Apart from this, 7 new posts are also vacant.
The increase in workload has forced many civic officials to work overtime and most of them are holding multiple posts. For instance, municipality engineer M Balasubramaniyan is holding the additional charge of zone IV engineer, town planning officer M Kannan of the Corporation is also holding the post of zone II engineer.
“Our Corporation is running with 3:1 ratio of officials. We have been working tirelessly everyday throughout the month. For effective administration, the State should fill the posts as soon as possible,” said a senior official in the Corporation. Another senior official said, “The workload is heavy but we are left with no option. I am holding two posts and working on Sundays too but I’m not being paid extra. We are working keeping the public in mind.”
Corporation commissioner Janaki Raveendaran said, “We have already written to the CMA officials to fill the vacant posts. They have asked for some information and we are working on this.” Another official, who preferred anonymity said,“ The CMA wanted to know if the Corporation could pay the staff if the vacant posts are filled. Without clarifying this, they won’t appoint people. The Corporation should have revenue to pay its staff. The commissioner should write to the CMA saying that the Corporation is capable of paying officials if vacant posts were filled.”
He further said, after the upgradation of Fort City to Corporation status from municipality, more officials were needed to speed up the project but lack of staff was delaying the work. Through outsourcing labourers on contract basis for petty works could be appointed. But in revenue section like bill collector, rules will not permit contract workers. So, immediately the government should appoint officials.”
Zonal I president M Sunil Kumar said,“Work is delayed due to lack of officials. The present Commissioner is not fit for the post. She couldn’t fill the vacant posts by pressurising the CMA. From junior engineer to city engineer, posts are vacant. It’s a developing Corporation unlike in Coimbatore or Trichirapalli. We can’t do anything with vacant chairs.”