HYDERABAD: The Sindh government seems to have eventually surrendered to the Supreme Court’s (SC) order and Pakistan Engineering Council’s (PEC) contention against employing B-Tech graduates and diploma holders on engineering positions. The government hitherto kept procrastinating compliance to the October 3, 2018, order, with hundreds of non-qualified engineers reportedly remaining posted on BPS-19 and BPS-18 positions.
The Sindh Services, General Administration and Coordination Department (SGA&CD) 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 SGA&CD’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… may be 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, who were posted in Hyderabad and Sukkur, respectively.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2020.