North-East Zone-The Fifth Zone
Few years back NE zone was created as a separate engineering zone. An office was set up without any staff during mid nineties. In 1999 one Director (Engg) was posted at North East zonal headquarter at Guwahati with a skelton supporting staff. The control was still with East Zone. Association was never averse to this decision, rather this was welcomed by us as the decision was to fulfill a long cherished aspiration of the people of NE region. There was a demand from NE representatives during Millenium convention at Lucknow, wherein a resolution was adopted to demand the bifurcation of cadres zone wise with a rider to grant a leave for 5 years, to offset the disproportional effect in the prospects of promotion etc. for the cadres upto SEA.

In fact the vital bifurcation was carried out w.e.f 15th August 2003, after the employees were asked to opt for the zones of their choice in 2002. To the utter surprise of everyone the Department bifurcated the cadres only based on individual choice. The basic elements of overstaffing in one zone (EZ) and substantial deficiency in the other zone (NEZ), were not even discussed with any amount of seriousness. Perhaps apprehending the impending crisis the Association demanded to keep the decision in abeyance and it was agreed by the CEO for 2 months, so that the problem could be addressed to. Unfortunately the department could not or did not put in any administrative exercise and the bifurcation was effected within a peculiar situation where approximately 67 SEAs, a good number of EAs and about 15 Sr. Technicians are surplus in East Zone and similar nos. of posts deficient in NE zone.

This has resulted in no promotion in East Zone for at least 7 years in all subordinate cadres, nominal promotion in NE region and at the same time people from East Zone posted in NE region are not able to come to their opted zones even after the completion of tenures, as there will not be sufficient staff to run the offices of AIR and Doordarshan after the staff go back to East Zone, where there will be over crowding. Though the Department has come out with some temporary solution in East zone to address the issue but the issue of promotion in East Zone has been left as it is, as if this is not an issue at all. This sensitive issue requires to be taken up by the authorities with all seriousness. If required, strong administrative action may be contemplated. To resolve this sensitive issue, a resolution was adopted at Varanasi in full CWC and submitted to E-in-C (AIR), but somehow it could not be implemented. The central office requested all the zonal VPs to attend a CWC meeting at Siliguri on 3rd September, only to find a solution to this vexed problem. But only VP(EZ) attended the meeting. A resolution has been adopted in the same meeting, which states that 'sanction of additional posts are required to offset the surplus posts, and if this is not possible, ultimately SEA be made an all India cadre'. In near future, CWC will request all the zonal VPs to assemble on a given day and venue, to attend a meeting and arrive at a consensus decision on this delicate and emotive issue. It appears the authorities have turned their face away from this ticklish problem. The moot question is who will address to this issue.?