Staff shortage compelling bureaucrats to seek transfers
Stressed with having to do the job of two men due to a manpower shortage at their office, seven class-1 officers have come and gone within a spate of 10 months at the state’s social welfare department (SWD). Now, the eighth assistant commissioner, too, is contemplating requesting a transfer, as he is finding it hard to manage the work at the SWD office of Pune district, which is located in Swargate.
In 2012, till October, seven officers took charge of the department, and within a month or two applied for a transfer. The incumbent Ravindra Kadam Patil, an MPSC-2010 batch officer, is only in his second posting. Nevertheless, he has proved an exception to the tradition and has successfully completed six months. But, now he is also fed up because of the manpower shortage.
“It is really hard to hold this important charge without sufficient staff at my disposal. One class-2 officer’s post is vacant since several years. Similar is the case with the other vacant posts of a senior social welfare superintendent and stenographer. Besides these, another five posts are lying vacant despite the fact that all these are government approved postings,” said Patil.
The SWD’s jurisdiction covers Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune rural as well. Patil’s office deals with around thousand colleges within the region with respect to the disbursement of scholarships to students belonging to Scheduled Caste and Other Backward Caste categories, besides implementing other state government schemes.
“One cannot compare the work load of any other district with Pune. The state government should immediately fill up the vacant posts, plus create some additional posts or just divide the district into two or three parts for administrative convenience,” said Patil.
He said that while appointing him for the job, the government authorities had promised him that all vacant posts would be filled up at the earliest, but seven months have gone by and till date not a single employee has been recruited.
According to sources, one of the other reasons that no officer wants to complete his three-year tenure is due to the frequent visits made by ministers, as well as various Commissions, wherein they have to pay for the entire expenses.
“An officer has to spend around Rs 30,0000 each month during official visits of ministers and other government officers. Since Pune is a big city, many state, central level Commissions on SC, OBC visit the place. It is an unwritten rule that the officer has to manage all these visits. This is the reason why no officer wants to remain here,” said an employee, on condition of anonymity.
Surprisingly, the early exit trend by SWD assistant commissioners is not only limited to the year 2012. A board displaying the previous officers list indicates that the scenario was alike in 2008.