Clouds of uncertainty hang over the jobs of sub-regional officers (sro) of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (mpcb). The threat is from mpcb's recently launched assessment programme, which is supposed to be a motivating exercise.
The sros are responsible for supervising and guiding field officers in matters of surveillance, monitoring and implementation of environmental legislations. D B Boralkar, mpcb member secretary who has initiated the drive, points out in a confidential note: "Many of the existing sros ... do not possess enough technical/scientific qualifications, training and capacity required for adequate implementation of field activities, particularly in the areas of hazardous substances, bio-medical wastes, modern methods of monitoring etc.... assessment of the officers shall be done. Based on the assessment... their continuation in the service can also be decided by the Board."
Boralkar has roped in Pune-based Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (yashada) for the review. yashada will assess the officers for their efficiency, aptitude, willingness and ability to deliver. The first phase of the assessment, to be made in November 2004, will cover about 15 of the 45 sros. The appraisal will be extended to other scientific staff later.
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