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Engineers’ stir
Correspondent KOHIMA, SEPT 18 (NPN):
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Published on 19 Sep. 2009 12:00 AM IST
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The functioning of the Engineering wing of the various state government departments remained paralysed for the second consecutive day Friday following the mass casual leave availed by the Association of Engineers (AOE) and All Nagaland Diploma Engineers Service Association (ANDESA) of the state PWD department to press their two-point demand for revocation of earlier two government orders. The two associations has been demanding revocation of the government orders empowering the Chief Town Planner to exercise the power of the chief engineer, works & housing and also separating the engineering wing of the urban development department from works and housing department and modification of the proposal for creation of the technical posts in the same department against the principle of amalgamation. Addressing media persons at their control rooms, the AOE officials and core committee members led by its president Er. Khupi Natso said that the two associations would continue with the mass casual leaves till September 23 and then decide its further course of action later, if their two-point demand was not fulfilled by the government. He also revealed that the state government through the commissioner & secretary PWD had invited the agitating engineers Thursday evening and informed them of the government’s inability to take any decision as the chief minister was out of station and requested them to call off the agitation. The two associations alleged that the state government through the two orders had broken its own rule which was formulated in 1988. Earlier, the engineers had temporarily called off its proposed agitation following the intervention of chief minister who had set up a committee to study into the associations’ demand. The committee had submitted its report to the state cabinet which was totally in favour of the demands of the engineers’ associations. The state cabinet had met on September 9 last but the committee report in connection with the engineers association demand was not taken up for discussion in the cabinet meeting. Moreover, both the minister for road and bridges and urban development were not present in the cabinet meeting, thus compelling the association to go ahead with its agitation. Following the demand made by the Federation of Nagaland State Engineers Service Association (FONSESA) for amalgamation of all the engineering wings under the works and housing department and for a common cadre of the technical wing, the state government in 1988 issued a notification conceding to the demand of the FONSESA. Accordingly, engineering wings attached to various government departments except the Nagaland transport, geology & mining and agriculture, have been amalgamated into one department and the cadre management is under the work & housing department since then. However, the state government issued another notification last year for separation of the engineering wing of the urban development department outside the purview of the amalgamation principle and further created technical posts in the same department despite strong opposition by the associations. Further, the state government also issued another notification in July last year empowering the Chief Town Planner to exercise the power of the chief engineer (work & housing) for according all estimates. This had irked the engineers association to demand for the revocation of the same and resort to the ongoing agitation. Meanwhile, the executive engineer PWD (R&B) Phek Division Er.Vizodel Khatso and Pfutsero Division Er.Sungti Amer in a joint press release expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to the public in view of the mass casual leave availed by all the engineers on September 17, 18, 22 & 23 to take part in the agitation called by the AOE and ANDESA PWD.

 
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