Friday, June 21, 2024
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Govt delays lifting ban on appointment of home guards

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By Our Reporter

Shillong: There has been no recruitment of home guards in the State for the past many years due to lack of interest on the part of the State Government to lift a nine-year-old ban which was imposed in 2002.

The Finance department had in 2010, approved fresh recruitment of home guards in the State, following which the then Civil Defence and Home Guards Minister Augustine D Marak had informed that he would seek Cabinet approval for lifting the ban on recruitment of home guards.

But even after more than a year, there is still no sign of the Government lifting the ban.

When contacted, a senior government official on Thursday informed that the matter was still under consideration of the State Government.

“We understand the importance of lifting this ban considering that the department is suffering from huge manpower constraints,” the official said.

He also informed that at present there are a total of 177 vacancies in the Home Guards border wing, while adding that once the ban is lifted it would largely address the manpower constraints in the department.

The official also claimed that various steps were being considered by the Government to enhance the capacity of the twin organizations (Civil Defence and Home Guards).

Underlining the importance of the home guards and civil defence the official said that these two organizations had important roles to play in matters relating to disaster management especially since the State falls under Seismic Zone V which is an earthquake-prone zone.

Meanwhile, official sources have stated that the present battalion of home guards is an ageing battalion.

“It is important to rope in fresh blood so that it would not affect the training aspect of the institute. This would happen only if the ban on recruitment is lifted,” the sources said, adding that if the ban is lifted it would also allow the department to set up units in all the seven districts of the State.

At present the department has its bases only in East Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and West Garo Hills.

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