Seniors denied promotion, plum posts given to ones ‘close to the Director’
Srinagar: In blatant disregard of norms, the administration of the health department Kashmir has picked juniors over senior officers and given them additional perks, raising serious questions on the state of affairs in the department.
The seniority list of officers, released by the Health and Medical Education Department this year, has not been taken into consideration for promoting officers to key posts. Besides this, the department under its incumbent director has left the prime post of Deputy Director, Headquarters, vacant for the past eight months. The prolonged absence of the Deputy Director has paved the way for a particular person to hold its additional charge, while bypassing certain officers at the verge of retirement.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that ever since the new director assumed charge, a particular officer has been promoted to a key post while denying due promotion to other officers. Of late, the said officer has been given the additional charge of an important post, the sources said.
“A few months back, the department promoted and transferred certain deserving doctors in the department. To our surprise, Dr Bashir Ahmad Chalkoo superseded many others in being appointed as DNO (Divisional Nutritional Officer),” a source said.
He added that Syed Manzoor Qadri, who had been looking after public health for quite a long time, should have been appointed for the post. But, instead, Dr Bashir was appointed for such an important post which requires coordination with other government departments, especially Department of School Education and Social Welfare.
Syed Manzoor Qadri, who is currently holding the charge of Assistant Director, Rehbar E Sehat, is left with only a few months of service before his retirement. Despite this, he continues to remain at his current position while the post of Deputy Director of Headquarters has been kept vacant.
Sources added that Dr Abdul Rashid, currently holding charge of Deputy Director (Schemes), should have been given the post of Deputy Director (Headquarters), but instead, he was given charge of Deputy Director (Schemes).
Surprisingly, the post of Deputy Director (Headquarters) has been given to Dr Bashir Chalkoo, in addition to his current charge as DNO.
“Dr Bashir Chalkoo has trampled over the due rights of other officers who were more deserving of the post. Firstly he was made the DNO over others, and now he holds the charge of Deputy Director, Headquarters. This is in clear violation of norms and guidelines of the department. The Director Health continues to shower undue favours and entitlements on Dr Chalkoo, and everyone in the department knows about it,” the sources said.
They added that “the director has given clear directions that all files and matters to his office should be routed through the said person (Dr Bashir Chalkoo)”.
An insider at the health department told Kashmir Reader that the functioning and other paperwork pertaining to the Deputy Director office has been severely affected, as the in-charge officer hardly pays any visit to the office.
He added that there is total mismanagement in the department, as the grievances and other matters of employees as well as of the general public remain unresolved. This, he said, has happened due to the patronage of Director Health enjoyed by the said person.
“The in-charge Director and DNO continues to enjoy special privileges from the director. No one in the department dares to raise a voice against him as he is considered to be close to the director,” the insider said.
“They come and leave the office together. Dr Bashir Chalkoo accompanies him (the Director) to official meetings and video conferences, leaving his post and work unattended, frequently. This has become a routine now, since the new director has assumed charge,” he added.
On his part, Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Samir Matoo shifted the blame on delay for appointment of Deputy Director, Headquarters on the government. He said the health department has already sent the communication to the government for filling the vacancy.
“I’ve already intimated the government for the appointment of Deputy Director, Headquarters but there has been no action at their end.
“We cannot have such an important post to remain vacant for long. So in order to mitigate the crises arising due to the unavailability of the officer for such post, we had to give the charge to someone for time being,” he said.
He added that there wasn’t any issue of inaccuracy and favouritism in the seniority and promotion procedure of the department and said the ‘department has always taken utmost care of integrity and transparency under his leadership’.
“The department has always taken care of the due rights of every employee. Everyone has been put at his/her position, as per age, and expertise. The whole issue about seniority and promotions is totally false,” he added.