Abu Sazzad: Management level policy lacking in the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) is impeding for unresolved issue to appoint more BCS engineers. Without creating posts to include more BCS engineers causing threat to ensure safe drinking water and sanitation of people as the existing officials expressed their concern on such decision, said the sources.
Artificial crisis is prevailing in DPHE due to multifarious reasons including lack of adequate manpower, vacant post, mismanagement and unresolved issue of court against existing officials resulting severe operational failure to ensure safe drinking water and sanitation of people across the country, they also said.
Under the existing structure, the government-run organisation is holding some 94 posts in the rank of engineers. Of them, currently 90 posts are vacant as the organisation failed to create position for BCS officials. In this circumstance, the department is running under the instruction of the Non-BCS officials.
On the other hand, the direct appointment for specific project related manpower is not materializing since long which is hampering the implementation process.
The position of chief engineer is still vacant causing hindrance to accumulate the activities of the policy level, said sources adding there are some 3 pots for additional chief engineers in which 2 posts are vacant. On the other hand, the prescribed position for supervisory engineer is 14 but 12 posts are vacant and the acting officials are performing their duties for such important positions. Besides, there are 76 posts of executive engineer are vacant against 78.
Apart from this, many experienced but non-BCS officials are being failed to get promotion but they are sincerely performing their responsibilities since 7 to 30 years.
Considering the necessity of ensuring discipline in administrative level, the authorities concerned of DPHE recommended the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives to amend Bangladesh Civil Service (Engineering: Public Health) Composition and Cadre Rules, 1980.
On January 01, the law was amended after getting approval of the President, Prime Minister and Public Service Commission. On the basis of this rectification of rules, the posts of BCS officials raised at the number of 329 from the existing 136. Later, on January 22, Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives ministry issued a circular to appoint some 95 civil engineers under BCS Cadre and such instruction facilitated DPHE to ensure safe drinking water and sanitation in the country primarily.
Unfortunately, some 21 officials of DPHE filled writ in the High Court (HC) against the ministry circular and the HC February 12 issued stay order for four months regarding the matter. On March 06, the Chamber Judge of Supreme Court has stayed on High Court order till April 14 upon the writ petition of public prosecutor.
An official of DPHE official told on the condition of anonymity that the matter is still waiting for the judgment of the court but an initiative is going on to violate the court order which is against the law of the country.
“We urged the local government ministry to resolve the crisis but they did not get any fruitful initiative. The settlement of this problem is necessary as it is related with the service interest of 125 engineers out of 150”, he claimed.
He has underscored the need for resolving the issue promptly to consider the public interest of the people.
Another official said, the activities of DPHE is hampering for the ongoing crisis. The victim officials have undertaken week-long programme to resolve the crisis.
During a physical verification, the correspondent found that the visible officials are neglecting their responsibilities for the ongoing crisis. Many officials are not available at their work station which could bring threat for the DPHE.
Experts said, the government decision to include more BCS officials in administrative level had put a negative impact in the existing engineers of DPHE. “Without creating posts for the BCS officials, such decision is not rational as it is the question of the job security of the existing administrative level workforce”, they added.