Last month, the housing authority had reported that over 2,200 employees "did not" turn up for submitting their fingerprints even after an official order but the DDA later reconciled some of the missing staff, reducing the figure to a little over 1,600.
According to its top officials, DDA has about 15,600 employees in its employee database and efforts are on to reconcile the remaining "missing figures". When asked, DDA vice-chairman Balvinder Kumar did not rule out the possibility of them being "ghost employees".
"We are looking into the matter and efforts are on to get to the bottom of this apparent inconsistency. Mystery is deepening and we are not ruling out anything. These unaccounted 1,600 could be ghost employees, we don't know yet," Kumar told PTI.
The DDA as part of streamlining its employee database had initiated a biometric registration process in May, after which a "seven-digit unique identification number (UID)" was issued, post the completion of formalities on the employee's front.
"Circulars were issued out to employees, who were asked to come and submit their fingerprints for our digital employee database, which we are now centralising, as it was decentralised earlier," V S Tomar, Director of Systems at DDA, said.
"As of August 8, out of 15,600 employees, 2,276 were found not to have enrolled for fingerprints. We then sought to reconcile the figures and found that 392 had retired and another 145 enrolled later, leaving a little over 1600 employees, whose fingerprints are still missing," Tomar said.
He said the process of reconciling the figures is still going on and attributed the missing figures among other causes to "transfer of employees or new recruitments". "So, now 14,000 employees have submitted their fingerprints. And, since our offices and parks are located in far-flung areas also, some employees may not have been able to get themselves registered on the database.
"Now, from this month, we are going to stop the disbursing of salaries for those employees, who do not have the unique seven-digit UID.
Those employees would then approach us and we would then reconcile the figures accordingly," he said.