Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Another verification process begins at Power Deptt, this one to scrutinize Certificates of Identification


GANGTOK, 18 Aug: Agitated employees of the Power Department, those who have put in more than 15 years of temporary service and who were recently regularized only to go without any salary or wages for five months, have cooled off for now and accepted the ‘interim relief’ offer of the State government. Meanwhile a fresh verification process is being undertaken on the documentation of the regularized personnel after a scrutiny by the Department of Personnel had found discrepancies in around 400 of the 1,400 cases of regularization processed by the Department in March 2014. Express orders have been issued for this re-verification to be completed by August-end, inform officials, so that the entire regularsiation process can be completed ahead of Dasain. The re-verification this time is reportedly only to verify the genuineness of the Certificates of Identification [without which no one can be appointed on regular basis in government service].
The offer of interim relief, coming almost 4 months after the elections are over [and since the services were regularized], arranges for the recently regularized employees to be paid their monthly wages and salaries at the scale they were drawing before regularisation. While a section of the employees had initially rejected this offer, the affected employees are reported to have agreed to take this interim relief pending the re-verification.
Once the process of re-verification is over, those MR & WC employees screened and found eligible for regularization will then be paid their salaries in the new regularized scale.
Interestingly, the latest re-verification process, which is actually a re-re-verification process, will be conducted on all the 1,450 odd MR & WC employees at Power Department who had completed 15 years or more of service in the Power Department [and whose services were regularised in March]. The just concluded scrutiny conducted by the Department of Personnel had screened all the concerned employees and cleared 1,057 MR& WC employees; the rest, about 400 of them, were found to have incomplete or ‘suspect’ documents.
The need to conduct this new round of re-verification, it seems, is because the earlier scrutiny was only to verify whether the temporary employees had all their documents in order or not. It was not, officials inform, a verification of the documents itself. While this too, could have been done earlier, now with suspicions and anonymous complaints with the state government that some of the regularized employees may be having dubious documents, there is a need, say officials, to verify the documents particularly the Certificates of Identification in the possession of the employees.
In fact, this latest scrutiny is solely to verify the authenticity or otherwise of the CoIs which the employees possess. This scrutiny will be done for all the 1450 odd employees in the MR & WC establishment in the Power Department.
In this regard, officials inform, the concerned officials of the DoP, who have been given the task of re-verification, will also be soliciting the assistance of the respective District Collectors of the 4 districts. All records of domiciles are maintained with the district collectorates, it may be recalled.
It remains to be seen how the state government deals with those employees who are found to be in possession of fake or un-verifiable documents. While such employees will definitely not be regularized, it would be interesting to see whether they are allowed to continue in the temporary position that they presently hold. The Chief Minister, in his I-Day speech, had announced that the issue will be resolved at the earliest and that the affected employees will start receiving their salaries ahead of Dasai, from 01 October onwards.

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