THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While the LDF Government has announced the members of the reconstituted Devaswom Recruitment Board, money running into several lakh spent by the previous Board has gone down the drain.
From March 2015 to June this year, the Board chaired by P Chandrasekharan spent `1.21 crore by way of remuneration to the six Board members, including the chairman and staff, according to an RTI reply obtained by activist Raju Vazhakkala. These expenses were incurred till the time the Recruitment Board (amendment) Act was passed in September 2016.
Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the previous Board was a “white elephant” that wasted public money to the tune of several crore.
“The new recruitment board is an interim mechanism. Our ultimate aim is to handover all the appointments to the PSC in a few years’ time,” he said. The Board was yet to move into the new premises which had been taken on rent in December last year. Since then, it has been paying `1.25 lakh monthly as rent for the unoccupied building. Recruitment procedures to continue
The new Board headed by M Rajagopalan Nair will continue with the recruitment procedures, which were stopped midway by the previous Board. The Board chairman told Express that the office would be shifted to the rented building lying unoccupied now. The procedures to make appointments to the 62 vacancies of part-time shanthi (priest) and 14 randam aana shevukam (second mahout) were stopped following a direction from the new government in June. A total of 875 candidates had applied for the posts.
“We will continue with the appointment procedures of the previous Board considering the interests of applicants. The examinations will be conducted at the earliest,” he said. Rajagopalan Nair said all the Boards encountered staff shortage and the TDB and Cochin Devaswom Board bore the brunt.