Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Manpower crisis hits Civil Defence & Home Guards dept

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Govt blamed for delay in lifting ban on recruitment

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: There has been no recruitment of home guards in the State for the past several years due to a lackadaisical approach on the part of the State Government to lift a nine-year-old ban imposed in 2002.

The Finance department had approved recruitment of home guards in the State last year, following which the then Civil Defence and Home Guards Minister, Augustine D Marak had even planned to seek Cabinet approval for lifting the ban on recruitment of home guards.

But after more than a year, there is no sign of the ban being lifted.

When contacted, a senior government official on Thursday said 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 177 vacancies in the Home Guards border wing, adding that once the ban is lifted it would largely address the manpower constraints in the department.

The official also claimed that various steps are 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 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 can happen only if the ban on recruitment is lifted,” the sources said, adding that once that happens 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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