Two consultants have been appointed under a contract allegedly violating rules and regulations under State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) scheme for the Baramulla and Kupwara districts in North Kashmir.
Sources said that these appointments were made so that disaster management authorities of these two districts can be improved. Sources mentioned that these appointments clearly violate rules and job description as prescribed by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Ministry of Home affairs (MHA). Since these appointees have only one year of experience so it is a clear violation of NDMA guidelines. Candidates must have five years of experience in Disaster Management.
NITI Aayog’s aspirational district program SDMA bolstering of Disaster Management scheme was made for two districts. However, the implementation of this scheme has not been efficient as less experienced candidates were appointed. Moreover, these candidates are reportedly not doing their job for the whole time at Kupwara and Baramulla.
Sources said that it is a disaster hiring less experienced candidates as consultants as public funds are used to pay them huge salaries. Department issued advertisement twice for hiring of contractual posts of consultants. They said that many experienced candidates couldn’t apply because of communication blockade due by Article 370 lockdown. This gave a chance to department to decrease the experience clause from five years to one year so that they can benefit the blue-eyed candidates who were previously working in State Disaster Management Authority for one year as disaster management professionals.
Sources said that the Government should not have decreased the experience requirement at any condition because many human lives are dependent on disaster management and it is not an ordinary job. “Since over one-third of candidates were PhD holders, the government should also conduct a screening test/examination. Only candidates who have comparatively less experience and have only a PG degree were selected which is not fair” said sources.
It must be mentioned that both the Baramulla and Kupwara districts are prone to natural disasters. One such unfortunate has already taken place on October 8, 2005. Over 1,000 people lost their lives in these two districts of North Kashmir in the earthquake and the infrastructure also suffered huge damage in this natural calamity.