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Removals of diploma holders from engineering-positions in Sindh govt departments begin Sindh government moves to implement SC orders.

The year 2020 brought good news for engineers working in Sindh government departments. In January, at least, one of their long-awaited demands was met as the Sindh government moved to implement the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) for removing non-engineers from all engineering positions in public sector departments in the province. Besides SC's decision, Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) has been pressing government both at the center and the provinces for removing B-Tech graduates and diploma holders who were posted on engineering positions. The government kept on delaying compliance to the orders of the apex court issued on October 3, 2018, order which asked for removing hundreds of non-qualified engineers posted on BPS-19 and BPS-18 positions.

The Sindh Services, General Administration and Coordination Department (SGAandCD) finally directed the provincial secretaries of works and services, local government, public health engineering, agriculture, irrigation and other departments on January 8 to ensure prompt compliance. "... government shall not allow or permit any person to perform professional engineering work as defined in the PEC Act, who does not possess accredited engineering qualification from the accredited engineering institution and his name is not registered as registered engineer or professional engineer under the PEC Act," the order's operative paragraph reads, as cited in the petition filed by Moula Bux Shaikh and others against Sindh chief minister and other parties.

The government's directives were issued after the SC's assistant registrar wrote to the provincial government, following the filing of a complaint in the court by Rashid Razvi and Associates on behalf of the petitioners. Engineers working in government departments, as well as PEC, have, for long, maintained a stance against employing B-Tech graduates and diploma holders on engineering positions, arguing that they lack the required qualification. PEC's Act defines a professional engineer as a person who holds an accredited engineering qualification, has passed the prescribed engineering practice examination and is registered as such by the council. Registered engineers are also registered with the council but they are not allowed to work independently on projects' designing.

On the other hand, B-Tech graduates and diploma holders are neither registered with the council nor are their qualifications accredited. Following SGAandCD's notifications, departments like local government and works and services also issued notifications on January 8, directing swift compliance to the apex court's order. "... B-Tech [graduates and] diploma holders... maybe restricted and relieved from engineering work and furnish compliance report[s] into the matter within 24 hours," reads a notification issued by Sindh local government's Housing and Town Planning Department.

It was addressed to Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, Karachi Development Authority, Lyari Development Authority, Sindh Building Control Authority, Malir Development Authority, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board and Sindh Solid Waste Management Board. Hyderabad Development Authority, Water and Sanitation Agency, Hyderabad, Larkana Development Authority and Sehwan Development Authority, among others, have also been issued the same directives. The Works and Services Department has relieved BS-18 executive engineers Muhammad Azam Memon and Ghulam Abbass Soomro, posted in Hyderabad and Sukkur, respectively.

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Publication:Pakistan Engineering Review
Date:Jan 24, 2020
Words:568
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