Food Labs, Mobile Testing Vans Worth Crores Remain Unutilized

SRINAGAR — Jammu and Kashmir High Court has sought status about recruitment of various posts for manning laboratories as well as seven Mobile Food Testing Vans which were procured from the State of Gujarat after expenditure of crores of rupees but allegedly remain unutilized for want of drivers and technicians. 

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur were informed by the government that a sum of over Rs. 18 crores has been spent in creating State of Art Public Laboratories in Srinagar and Jammu. 

“However, the personnel who are to work in these laboratories and to use the utilized facilities are not available. Only some of the posts have been filled, whereas, most important posts which includes those of lab technicians; instrumentation technicians for these laboratories remained vacant,” the court observed.  

Additionally, seven Mobile Food Testing Vans stand acquired from the State of Gujarat after expenditure of crores of rupees remain unutilized as, other than drivers, no technicians are available to man or utilize these vans for any purpose, the court was informed.

While the position was disputed by the respondents, the court said: “Let the position regarding the various posts which have been created for manning laboratories as well as mobile vans, the status of their recruitment be disclosed on affidavit to be filed within three weeks,” the court said. 

If recruitment process has to be effected, the court said, the respondents shall disclose the timelines within which the same would be completed. “We make it clear that in case the process of recruitment for any post is yet to commence, the respondents shall ensure that the necessary action towards issuance of the advertisement inviting applications is positively completed within three weeks.”

 The process of selection shall be positively completed within a period of four months from the date of issuance of the advertisement, the court sad. “We are informed that the recruitment process for the vacant posts could not be initiated for the reason that the matter regarding modification in the Recruitment Rules is pending with the ARI Trainings Department,” the court said, adding, “So far as the nature of amendment which is required is concerned, we are informed that the existing Recruitment Rules prescribe only promotion as the mode of recruitment, whereas, there are no existing officers in the feeding cadre who could be considered for promotion. This matter shall be resolved by the Commissioner/Secretary to Government of J&K, ARI, Training Department.”


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