Shimla, Feb 10 (UNI) Call it the lackadaisical attitude of the previous state government or the lack of concern on the part of the bureaucratic system that even after five years of inordinate delay, the 1988-batch officers of the Indian Forest Service (IFS) are waiting for their first promotion.
The batch was due for promotion in the year 2003, however, the State Forest authorities have failed to hold a meeting of department promotion committee (DPC) of IFS officers, who were waiting for the first promotion of their cadre.
The service rules maintain that DPC should be held regularly, but in this case DPC has not been conducted for the last over five years.
So far these officers have been allegedly deprived of this benefit due to indifferent cadre management.
The government has, however, now given the permission for filling new vacancies created at the senior levels following the recent cadre review.
Sources in the department have revealed that even as the state government has now directed the department to hold the DPC, the preparation of annual confidential reports was moving at a snail's pace.
The main reason behind this slow pace of compiling the confidential reports is being attributed to alleged laxity on part of few officers besides retirement of few officers who were supposed to inscribe their remarks for their immediate subordinates, the sources said.
As per rules the new superior can pen down his remarks for the subordinate officer, only when the superior has completed three months in the office, but with few officers retiring recently the ACR's of their subordinates are in a dangle.
However, there are other options for preparing confidential reports, but these processes are also likely to prolong the things, said sources.
''After completing 13 to 14 years of service as IFS officer we owe a promotion, but even after spending 18 to 19 years at one level we are still awaiting for the first promotion of our cadre,'' said an IFS officer, requesting anonymity.
''Our fellow officers in other states of the country stand promoted long back including the neighbouring state of Punjab. All this cadre mismanagement here has resulted in demoralising the spirit of public services, the officers who come through Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) with very high qualification are bound to feel dejected if they do not get their due within time,'' he added.
It may be mentioned that after the recent cadre review there has been an increase of six additional posts at the senior level, taking the total strength of the state cadre to 106.
The number of principal chief conservators for forests (PCCF) has been increased from one to two, additional principal chief conservators for forests from two to four and the chief conservators of forests from 6 to 11.
However, the posts of conservator of the forests have come down from 19 to 17.
Meanwhile, Forest Minister J P Nadda told UNI here that the state government was considering the matter seriously.
''The department has been directed to hold the DPC with regard to the promotion of IFS officers at the earliest and no further laxity would be accepted,'' he said adding that prompt action will also be taken regarding issues pertaining to promotions of other positions from top to bottom in the department.
UNI XC AS PS BDP VC1916