SRINAGAR: Top level engineers working with state held a protest against the government on Monday for not hiking their salaries since they have been appointed.
The one day sit-in protest was held in the twin capitals of the state and was also attended by chief engineers.
Peerzada Hidayatullah, the president of J&K Electrical Engineering Graduates Association, told Kashmir Reader that while successive state governments over the years have given additional responsibilities to engineers their salaries have not been hiked.
“For example the retired chief engineer Bashir Ahmad, he was by post CE but he was drawing the salary of assistant executive engineer. Similarly most of the chief engineers today have met the same fate. The situation is same about the rest of the engineers,” Peerzada said.
According to the data compiled by Peerzada, 500 assistant engineers, 400 assistant executive engineers, 100 executive engineers, 25 superintending engineers and 15 chief engineers have been given multiple responsibilities while they receive the salary set at the time of their appointments.
Peerzada said Azhar Matoo, the AEE at Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC), is drawing the salary of junior engineer which was set at the time of his appointment 29 years ago.
Peerzada said that the association has sent repeated proposals to the successive governments but no one paid the heed. He said it was lately approved by the former finance minister Abdul Rehman Rather but was not implemented by the current dispensation.
“We met current finance minister also but he only gave assurance did nothing. What are we supposed to do now? We are not being paid according to the work we do. We have submitted assured career progress plan (a road map how our welfare will be taken care of), but no response. A diploma holder engineer draws more salary then a graduate engineer. We are not against them, but how is it a justice? Our proposal will only cost Rs 7 crore,” he said.
Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu did not respond to the repeated calls from this newspaper.