Depts tell staff not to leave office during work hours

To fight the deteriorating work culture in government offices, several departments have issued directions to its employees to refrain from leaving their offices during working hours.

Director, Institute of Kashmir Studies, University of Kashmir, Gull Wani has issued a notice to his employees to desist from leaving the institute during office hours to visit the administrative section, considered a lucrative place for corrupt employees.

“It has been observed that employees of the institute frequently visit the administration section of the university during office hours without informing the director, resulting in administrative inconvenience at the institute. As such, every staff member is directed to desist from this,” read the notice issued by Wani.

Officials at the varsity said employees leave their respective departments during office hours and visit the administrative department, where the staff had more public dealing.

“They go to the administrative section of the university to lure people, promising them that their work will be done quickly in lieu of a bribe. It is a common practice here,” a varsity official said.

Similarly, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), earlier this month, issued a circular asking its employees to desist from practices which bring a bad name to the department.

“Some employees working in sub-offices and the central office of the SMC can be found roaming near the birth and death sections on a regular basis. Due to these agents, the public is facing a lot of problems,” the SMC circular read.

The SMC has asked its employees to remain present in their offices and perform the job assigned to them.
The situation is similar in other government departments across Kashmir where employees instead of doing their work visit other departments to earn a quick buck during the day.

In Kashmir’s lone children hospital, GB Pant, a doctor posted at the Neonatology Intensive Care Unit was put under CCTV surveillance after complaints of his absence from duty.

“We monitored his movement through the CCTV cameras and found him leaving the critical care unit during duty hours,” said a senior official at GB Pant Hospital.

The accused doctor was seen napping in his room or going out for tea during duty hours.

Medical Superintendent, GB Pant, Dr Shafaqat Khan said action had been taken against the doctor, who had now desisted from the practice.

However, officials say the government should install CCTVs cameras to monitor the movement and work of the employees in government offices.

To check absenteeism, the biometric attendance system was put in place in almost all goevrnment departments.

However, officials say employees punch in in the morning and go out during the day to do their work, like in the past.

“They come back in the evening to log out so that they are marked present for the day,” the official said.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Samoon warned the employees to desist from leaving their offices during working hours. “Strong action will be taken against employees if found involved in such practices. We will be forced to go with no work, no wage procedure,” Samoon said. He said he would write to all heads of the departments to ensure the physical presence of the employees in offices and take action against the absent employees.


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