Port Blair, April 8: A teacher posted at a remote School in Middle Andaman was in urgent need to proceed to Port Blair for the treatment of his wife. As the medical specialist at Port Blair scheduled time for her appointment on 4th April, he applied for 4 days Casual leave (CL) from 3rd April ,well in advance, with his Principal. Two days ahead of the journey he was intimated that the A&N Administration has withdrawn the authority of the Principal to grant any kind of leave to his subordinates. He also learned that he now has to apply to the Director of Education stationed at Port Blair for sanctioning of any kind of leave and station leaving permission. This teacher then applied for leave through his Principal and somehow managed to send it to the Directorate of Education. The teacher was under tremendous pressure today as the condition of his wife is deteriorating day by day and no word from the authorities reached him till date regard to his leave.

Thousands of teachers working under the Directorate of Education and other Group B Non-Gazetted employees working in various other Departments like Head Clerks, OS, Nurses, Junior Engineers, etc. are also in same dilemma as now they have to apply to their Director stationed at Port Blair for a ½ day CL even in the case of a medical emergency. The A & N Administration by an order dated 17th March, 2021 has withdrawn the authority delegated earlier to Head of Offices (HoO) to sanction leave including CL and station leaving permission to ‘Group B Non Gazetted’ employees. The power has been now delegated to the HoDs .

In a Department like Education nearly 4500 employees out of the total strength of 5500 are Group B Non Gazetted as all teachers including Primary School Teachers belongs to that group. Teaching community is the worst affected category by this order of the Administration as teachers from various remote corners from Campbell Bay to Diglipur have to approach their Directorate at Port Blair even for a CL (Akashmik Avakash) meant for exigency.

The Directorate of education is already overburdened with leave applications and the staff dealing with leave applications are clueless to manage the situation. The other Departments like Health, Agriculture, Police, etc. are also facing similar problems even though in lesser scale.

Meanwhile an emergency meeting of the Non-Gazetted Govt. Officers’ Association, A & N Islands held at Port Blair expressed serious concern on hardship faced by members of teaching community and other Group B Non-Gazetted employees for granting of leave. The meeting noted that the difficulty of employees posted at outstations to get leave and station leaving permission is manifold as communication facilities are scarce there. The meeting  appealed the Administration  for the re delegation of power to the Head of Office (HoO) to sanction leave including CL and station leaving permission to ‘Group B Non Gzetted’ staff.