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Govt mulls bringing in engineering cadre for better transparency in civic bodies

Kolkata: The Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department is considering a proposal to introduce engineering cadre service to crack down on the nexus between some builders and engineers in the civic bodies.

It has been proposed that the engineers will be appointed in the civic bodies through the Municipal Service Commission and like the IAS and IPS cadres, the job will be transferable.

Senior officials of the Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department felt that this system would be effective and it would prevent the engineers from growing vested interest.

According to the present system, the engineers are appointed by the respective civic bodies. The engineers work in the civic bodies for three decades and retire from there. It has often been found that some engineers develop vested interest and nexus with some builders and give them undue advantages. Even the civic bodies fail to take action against the engineers because of their hold on the employees.

Under the proposed system, the job of the engineers will be transferable. Like the cadres in the Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service, the engineers will have to serve the semi-urban municipalities first and they will come to the city after gathering sufficient experience in the districts.

As a result, it will be difficult for them to develop vested interest or give undue advantages to the builders. This will bring transparency in the administration.

It may be mentioned that the construction of illegal buildings in the area under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has virtually stopped after Mayor Firhad Hakim refused to regularise illegal constructions.

Unauthorised constructions had become a major issue in the mid 1980s in the city. The CPI(M)-led KMC used to regularise illegal constructions by payment of fines. In many apartments, the car parking space on the ground floor was converted into shops and the flat owners were forced to park their vehicles on the street.

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