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Power engineers demand place in board

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Sandeep Pattnaik
Bhubaneswar, Jan 22:

Odisha Power Transmission Engineers (OPTEA) Association on Wednesday urged the government to bring modification in policy regarding induction of engineers at the board level to make them part of a policy making process for the development of the power sector at large.

They demanded relaxation in the qualifying criteria in order to give scope for the insider candidates to compete for the post of director instead of taking persons from outside just by virtue of their higher pay scale.

The qualifying criteria for the appointment to the post of director require that one must have completed 5 years as Chief Engineer with 3 years of service still left till retirement, which prohibits many to aspire for the prestigious post, President of the association Biswa Ranjan Mishra said.

The OPTEA also demanded appointment of at least 50% of engineers to the board and setting up of a standing committee comprising incumbent engineers to scrutinize any policy relating to finance, engineering and HR before it is placed before the BOD.

Engineers in the state are paid less than their counterparts in other states after the erstwhile OSEB was privatized into discoms, the engineers association alleged. Their pay scales had been revised just twice in 2000 and 2010 after the SEB was corporatised, whereas in other states, pay revision took place every five years, officials of the association said.

Besides, there is no proper career planning, job rotation policy and no steps taken to groom the engineers by giving them higher responsibility. Some engineers are still continuing in the same post for the years together, according to the members of OPTEA.

Among the other key demands, the association called for giving the power transmission companies like OPTCL and Gridco more autonomy in the matter of employee recruitment and other related matters relating to their welfare measures, notwithstanding the government control on these companies.

The association also sought early government intervention to consider the stipendary engineers period for calculation of total years of service for grant of benefit under the Revised Assured Career Progression (RACP) policy, which has been approved by the board around a month ago.