Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 18:
With Centre stopping funds under the Centrally sponsored Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan (RGPSA), 340 junior engineers appointed under the scheme on contractual basis have been retrenched in Odisha.
These junior engineers have been served with retrenchment notices informing that their services are no longer required resulting in severe resentment among them. They have lost their jobs within a year of their appointment.
The Central government had started RGPSA in 2013. Under the scheme, Central government contributed 75 % of the required funds whereas 25% was contributed by the state government. It had been decided to appoint 743 junior engineers in different blocks of the state on contractual basis under the scheme. The purpose was that these junior engineers will oversee construction of roads and buildings at the panchayat level. The salary of the junior engineers had been fixed at Rs 9,300 per month.
A total of 340 junior engineers were appointed in 20 districts in 2014-15 under the scheme from a panel of unemployed junior engineers maintained by the state government. These junior engineers had joined their services in July 2014.
Notification was published for appointment of data entry operators in each panchayat under the scheme. Thousands of youth had applied for the posts. Applicants were also short listed. However, the process of appointments could not not be carried through.
These retrenched junior engineers Wednesday gheraoed the residence of Panchayati Raj Minister Arun Sahu.
They demanded regular appointment in 517 junior engineer posts lying vacant in the Works department after meeting the minister. They told the Minister that some of them had even crossed the age bar hoping to get regularised in government jobs.
The Minister is learnt to have told the retrenched junior engineers that the steps will be taken in this regard after discussions.