September 30, 2020

Engineers cry foul on salary

Patna: An engineers’ association in the state has protested against the government’s decision to stop salaries of 500 engineers for alleged insubordination.

The water resources department has stopped salaries of engineers from the ranks of chief engineer to junior engineer because adequate water was not released from canals under the Gandak irrigation project and Kosi irrigation project last month.

The Engineering Service Coordination Committee, Bihar, has protested against this.

As the state received 48 per cent deficit rainfall and a drought-like situation loomed over Bihar in mid-July, the government announced several measures such as irrigating fields with canal water among others.

The water resources department asked the engineers responsible to fully discharge water from the canals so that the water reached the other end.

The association members said normally in case of full discharge, 15,000 cusec water is released. But as the canals are old that require repairs, the engineers released only 6,000 cusec of water.

President of the committee, Ramesh Kumar Singh said: “Due to poor rainfall in different parts of the state last month, the department issued instructions to engineers under the Gandak irrigation project and Kosi irrigation project to release all the water. But as there was no repair, the engineers – as a precautionary measure – released only 6,000 cusec of water.”

General secretary Arjun Prasad also said: “Had the engineers released huge water, it would have led to cracks in the canal and casualties.”

But the government has taken it as a case of insubordination, and stopped salaries of more than 500 engineers, including chief engineer, superintending engineer, executive engineer and junior engineer, working under the projects.

The committee members have also opposed the water resources department’s decision to suspend 42 engineers from the eastern Kosi canal system for dereliction of duty.

The water resources department had carried out a cement content test from an independent agency in Delhi. It discovered that the cement content in the canal built 7-8 years ago was 86 per cent less.

Following the reports, the department suspended 42 engineers in May and also lodged cases against them.

Engineering Service Coordination Committee president Singh said: “The department inquiry is without fact. If a canal has 86 per cent less cement, how can it withstand water pressure for eight years. The government is unnecessarily targeting engineers.”

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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