Against Authorised Strength of 137, UT Has Only 57; JCoS Mulling to Enhance Numbers
Even when the Joint Committee on Service (JCoS) is mulling to increase the number of IAS officers, the existing Civil Servants in Jammu and Kashmir have been literally pushed to the walls with extra burden of work, due to severe dearth of officers. The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has an authorized strength of 137 IAS officers, but at present there are only 57, including those on deputation.
The existing cadre strength of Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers in Jammu and Kashmir is falling short of over 80 officers, putting extra burden on the existing bureaucrats, thus affecting their work efficiency.
As a makeshift provision, in absence of proper numbers, the authorities at the helm of affairs have distributed more work among less than 50 bureaucrats. It not only affects their efficiency, but also put stress on the disposal of public grievances in absence of popular government.
The distressing story of J&K bureaucracy does not stop here only. Out of 57 IAS officers, 13 officers are on deputation with either Government of India or with Ladakh Union Territory, thus aggravating the severity of the matter.
As per the details available with The Typewriter, Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary to the Government Housing and Urban Development Department has additional charge of Principal Resident Commissioner, J&K Government, New Delhi & charge of Smart Cities and proposed new Jammu/Srinagar MRDA. Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon, Principal Secretary to the Government School Education Department has additional charge of Department of Skill Development. Navin Kumar Choudhary Principal Secretary to the Government Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department has additional charge of Administrative Secretary, Agriculture /Horticulture, & Cooperatives Department. Dr. Pawan Kotwal Principal Secretary to the Government Revenue Department has additional charge of Financial Commissioner, Revenue and Inspector General of Registration, J&K.
Rohit Kansal Principal Secretary Power Development Department is holding the additional charge of Information Department, Managing Director, J&K Power Development Corporation LTD & MD, JK Power Corporation LTD, and Coordination to coordinate with GoI. Shailendra Kumar Principal Secretary to the Government Social Welfare Department has additional charge of Administrative Secretary of Public Works (R&B) & Tribal Affairs Department.
Manoj Kumar Dwivedi Commissioner/Secretary to the Government Industries and Commerce Department has additional charge of Secretary GAD & Director General, J&K IMPA&RD. Hirdesh Kumar Chief Electoral Officer Jammu and Kashmir has the additional charge of Commissioner/Secretary to the Government, Election Department and Transport Department. M Raju Secretary to the Government Planning, Development and Monitoring Department has additional charge of Administrative Secretary, Hospitality & Protocol, Estates Department and Civil Aviation Department & Administrative Secretary Jal Shakti Department.
Simrandeep Singh Special Secretary to the Government Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction has additional charge of Administrative Secretary, Department of DMRR&R & Department of FCSCA and Secretary, Public Grievances. Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary Deputy Commissioner Srinagar has additional charge of post of Chief Executive Officer, Special City Project under the Smart City Mission for Srinagar City. Sushma Chauhan Deputy Commissioner Jammu has additional charge of Chief Executive Officer, SPV for Jammu city.
Sarmad Hafeez Special Secretary to the Government Youth Services and Sports Department holds the additional charge of Administrative Secretary, Youth Services and Sports Department. Bhupinder Kumar Mission Director National Health Mission, J&K has additional charge of CEO Ayushman Bharati-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna. Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah Additional Secretary to the Government Finance Department holds additional charge of CEO, Mission Youth and CEO, JK Economic Reconstruction Agency & Additional Secretary, Information Department. Dr. Bilal Mohiud Din Bhat Sub-Divisional Magistrate Karnah-Tangdhar has additional charge of the post of Sub-Registrar, Karnah-Tangdhar and Santosh Sukhadeve Sub-Divisional Magistrate Mahore is holding the additional charge of the post of Sub-Registrar, Mahore.
Meanwhile, after Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla chaired a second meeting of the Joint Committee on Service (JCoS) matters for the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh, the cadre strengths of IAS was reportedly proposed at 191 (excluding posts in Ladakh). The present cadre strength is 137.
Talking to The Typewriter, senior IAS officer, wishing anonymity shared that it has become very difficult to work in Jammu and Kashmir since it has been transformed into Union Territory.
“We are already short of strength, due to which the work load has increased manifold. Every IAS officer in Jammu and Kashmir is under an inexplicable pressure,” said bureaucrat, adding that in prevailing circumstances, it is difficult to manage one department, but civil servants are being asked to manage more than one, which is quite exhaustive.
He further stated that there were reports about fulfilling the vacant posts of IAS officers and further enhancing the number for Jammu and Kashmir, but it appears it has died down, which is evident from the recent orders of additional charges.
When contacted Government Spokesperson, Rohit Kansal, he said that the matter would be better answered by Secretary Jammu and Kashmir General Administrative Department, who however was not available for comments, despite repeated calls.