Staff crunch in sericulture office hits production

Sericulture activities in Kalahandi have reportedly been hit due to shortage of staff in the zonal sericulture office impacting field extension work. This has resulted in low production of raw silk as many rearers seem to have lost interest.

In 1986, a separate sericulture zone for Kalahandi, headquartered at Bhawanipatna and headed by an assistant director deputed by the Directorate of Textiles and Handloom was set up. The zone constituted one mulberry demonstration farm each at Biswanathpur under Lanjigarh and Sirmaska under Thuamul Rampur blocks, besides three rearing co-operative societies. Two tussar rearing co-operative societies were also set up in Agren and Lakhna villages under Komna block of Nuapada district.

Sanctioned posts for the zone included one assistant director, one production officer, five technical inspectors, field and demonstration assistants each, a watchman, peon and two attendants besides clerical staff. However, the facility functions with just one production officer (who also officiates as the in-charge assistant director), technical inspector and field assistant, a clerk and peon.

Shortage of field staff has paralysed official work which is going on at snail’s pace besides giving rise to administrative discrepancies. For instance, of the 28.94-acre of demonstration farm at Biswanathpur, 1.94 acre has reportedly been registered under the name of a local resident since 1997. Rearing work is yet to commence in the farm and at Sirmaska too, adding to the miseries of the farmers who alleged that their repeated pleas to solve the matter have fallen on deaf ears.

Contacted, in-charge assistant director Goura Chandra Naik said that the higher authorities have been apprised of the field and technical staff crunch. “Work can only pick up pace once the vacant posts are filled,” he added.

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