Engineer’s transfer kicks up a row

Staff Reporter

PCB staff unions come out against decision

Unions allege violation of transfer norms

Chief Minister’s intervention sought

PATHANAMTHITTA: The transfer of an assistant environmental engineer of the Kerala State Pollution Control Board who has opposed the direct chemical treatment of water in a Pampa tributary has led to a controversy, with all major employees’ unions coming out against the decision.

In a statement issued here on Monday, M.P. Thrideepkumar, president, Kerala State Pollution Control Board Employees’ Association, and V. Sayi, president, Kerala State Pollution Control Board Engineering Staff Association, alleged that the transfer was nothing short of vengeance against the engineer who had pointed out the negative implications of the direct chemical treatment of the water in the Njunangar stream.

Mr. Thrideepkumar said the engineer, Alexander George, who had been transferred from the district office of the board, had submitted a memorandum to the both the associations on the ill effects of the treatment using a ferrous chloride-titania mix two months ago. However, the Chairman went ahead with his decision to carry out the treatment.

Mr. Thrideepkumar called for the immediate intervention of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy to rectify the “serious flaws” in the board’s administration and to protect the integrity of its staff.

Mr. Sayi alleged that the transfer order was untimely and in violation of norms.

They said the board’s employees had staged a token strike on November 24 protesting against the alleged corruption and nepotism by the board authorities and the associations would be forced to intensify their protests, if the government failed to streamline the board’s functioning.

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