Over 1500 engineers rendered jobless in J&K
Around 1 lakh people, developmental works affected
Suhail Khan/ Sadaf Ashraf
Srinagar, August 13: The abolishment of the Self Help Group Engineers Scheme (SHGES) by the J&K government has rendered over fifteen thousand engineers jobless besides affecting the livelihood of around one lakh people across Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking to Kashmir Despatch Syed Er Parvaiz Safvi, president of SHGEA said that the government decision has come as a shocker for the educated unemployed youth who were earning a livelihood in a dignified manner under this scheme.
“There are around 1520 Self Help Groups comprising of five to ten unemployed engineers in each group in Kashmir valley and similarly there are 1490 such groups in Jammu division. With the decision of stabbing this scheme, the government has leftover 15 thousand engineers completely jobless and there would be around one lakh unemployed youth associated with these groups across the J&K whose bread and butter has been snatched,” said Safvi.
He informed this newspaper that the association not only staged the protest demonstration against this govt. decision but also held many rounds of talks with the director, secretary employment department in this regard.
Safvi said that he along with some other members of the association called on Advisor Farooq Ahmad Khan with a representation seeking the revocation of the government order.
” Advisor Khan assured us that he will take up the issue with the Lieutenant Governor and plead for revocation of this decision,” the president of SHGEA added.
Sources told Kashmir Despatch that on the 6th of August when the state administrative council met under the chairmanship of the then Lt Governor G C Murmu there was no official memo about this decision discussed during the meeting.
“The sac has probably accorded the sanction to stabbing the scheme without going through the contours of the agenda. There are some bureaucrats who are hellbent to destroy the future of J&K’s youth,” a senior officer told Kashmir Despatch on the condition of anonymity.
This correspondent has learnt that the government has already canceled the tenders and the allotment of works to the SHG engineers soon after according the sanction to the abolishment of the scheme.
The ‘Self Help Group of Engineers Scheme’ (SHGES) was launched by the J&K government in 2003 wherein 30 percent of the total works in government departments, corporations and autonomous bodies was earmarked for SHGs of unemployed engineers as an alternative to government jobs.
According to an order issued by the General Administration Department of which a copy lies with Kashmir Despatch, Commissioner secretary to the government Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, directed that the practice of reserving a proportion of projects for Self Help Groups of Engineers is abolished forthwith.
Talking to Kashmir Despatch president of the SHGEA, Er Parvaiz Safvi said the decision to abolish the SHGES has been “unilaterally” taken by the Government without even consulting the concerned department which implements the scheme on the ground.
He added, “Surprisingly the government’s move abolishing the SHGES comes six months after the Labour and Employment Department said that it was modifying the scheme guidelines in order to make them more “progressive” so as to enable SHGs to take up projects of bigger quantum”.