Ludhiana MC building branch continues to reel under acute staff shortage

Ludhiana The municipal corporation’s (MC) building branch continues to reel under acute shortage of staff, with only 10 building inspectors deputed to keep a check on the existing 4 lakh buildings as well as upcoming projects. This comes at a time when the civic body is facing flak over the large number of illegal constructions in the industrial hub of the state.

After the recent transfers ordered by the local bodies department, 15 posts of building inspectors are lying vacant.

Only one building inspector is deputed in the civic body’s Zone C, which comprises eight blocks, while a maximum of three inspectors are deputed in other zones.

Further, only one of the ten sanctioned positions of junior draftsman is currently filled. Similarly, three posts for assistant town planner (ATP) and 10 for draftsman are also vacant in the department.

Building inspectors are responsible for keeping a check on the illegal buildings and constructions at the ground level, while the other staff members deal with the paperwork.

Notably, officials have criticised the administration’s failure to sanction new posts over the last two decades, even as the number of buildings in the city has increased manifold.

An MC official, who did not wish to be named, said political interference and corruption in the department were behind the illegal constructions in the city to a certain point. The official, however, was quick to add that staff shortage was also a major contributor as the required staff was not available to keep a proper check.

“The available staff also has to deal with court cases, RTI applications, office work etc and how the government expects them to keep a regular check on the illegal construction too,” the official added.

Officials stated that staff crunch is also affecting the recovery drives for the fund-starved civic body. The new staff deputed by the local bodies department, meanwhile, is yet to fully settle into their positions.

The MC officials have demanded that the government not only fill the vacant posts at the earliest, but also sanction new posts corresponding to the number of buildings, area and population of the city.

Speaking on the issue, mayor Balkar Sandhu said the recent transfers have been ordered by the government and only the state department can fill the vacancies, adding, “I will take up the matter with MC commissioner Shena Aggarwal so that the matter can be taken up with the senior officials of the local bodies department.”

Despite attempts to reach Aggarwal, she remained unavailable for comments.