Just days after HT highlighted the conflict of interest in giving the PWD principal secretary the additional charge of secretary of environment and forests (E&F), the Delhi government has taken back its decision.
Eco-activists had cried foul after Arun Baroka, principal secretary of Public Works Department also began heading the E&F.
The setup would have helped the government clear many projects before the assembly polls in November, said environmentalists.
The previous E&F secretary Sanjeev Kumar, who was transferred out of Delhi, has been given back the post.
Having the same person in-charge of development and green clearance would have helped the government in "sorting out" the "differences" PWD and E&F have had, environmentalists said.
Only department of E&F can help check avoidable felling of trees and has brought several violations by PWD before the courts. With Baroka heading both departments, environmentalists feared the PWD might escape action in many cases.
Effectively the PWD secretary in the dual capacity could have allowed several agencies, including the PWD, to cut trees without much scrutiny.
With the conflict of interest in the limelight, Kumar's transfer has been put on hold and Baroka will only look after the PWD.