Kohima, 27 February (MTNews): The Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) has appointed 829 Operation and Maintenance (O&M) staff, with a significant majority hailing from the Sumi Naga community. During the ongoing assembly session Jacob Zhimomi, Minister of PHED, disclosed the details while replying to a starred question today.

The breakdown of the appointments reveals that 426 staff members are from the Sumi Naga community, marking the highest representation. Following closely are 129 from Sangtam, 70 from Ao, 52 from Angami, 38 from Lotha, 28 from Chakhesang, 23 from Konyak, 12 from Yimkhiung, and the remaining ranging from 1 to 10 individuals.

Zhimomi clarified that educational qualifications were not specified for these positions, as the O&M staff are considered unskilled labor. To ensure fairness and transparency in the recruitment process, a departmental screening committee has been established. Additionally, after completing a probationary period of two years, the staff will undergo a suitability test.

Moreover, it was revealed that these positions were not advertised, in line with a memorandum issued by the P&AR office in October 2022. This memorandum allowed PHED and the Power Department to maintain work-charged and casual employees within the ceiling fixed by the Work-Charged and Casual Employees Commission.

Zhimomi affirmed that administrative approval was granted on 19 October 2022 to fill the vacancies of O&M staff within the limits set by the Work-Charged and Casual Employees Commission, in adherence to the aforementioned memorandum.

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