Send officials responsible for waterlogging to jail, AAP legislators ask Speaker
The report recommended a personal probe by the chief secretary to fix responsibility of those who made “fraudulent payments” to contractors, besides divesting senior IAS officer Ashwani Kumar, principal secretary (PWD and Vigilance), of the charges of the two posts.delhi Updated: Jul 03, 2017 23:56 IST
Aam Aadmi Party legislators on Monday demanded ‘exemplary punishment’ for officials in charge of desilting of drains and prevention of water-logging, saying they ‘miserably’ failed in discharging their duties.
Terming the ‘failure’ as ‘criminal negligence’ and ‘health terrorism’, AAP legislators asked speaker Ram Niwas Goel to set an example as he did last week by serving a 30-day jail term to two visitors who tossed papers in the House from the visitors’ gallery.
“Salary of these officers are paid from tax payers’ money but they are not accountable to people nor their elected representatives. What they have been doing is a criminal negligence. You should use your powers to summon officers and set an example by sending one of two to jail,” said Laxmi Nagar legislator Nitin Tyagi during the discussion on the petitions committee report on desilting tabled in the House on Friday.
The report recommended a personal probe by the chief secretary to fix responsibility of those who made “fraudulent payments” to contractors, besides divesting senior IAS officer Ashwani Kumar, principal secretary (PWD and Vigilance), of the charges of the two posts.
Chief secretary MM Kutty was present in the House during the consideration and adoption of the petitions committee report.
Chandni Chowk legsialtor Alka Lamba said while the Delhi government’s hands was ‘tied’ by the Centre, the need of the hour was to make it clear the assembly and its committees were capable of acting against ‘erring’ officials.
‘Alarmed with the pathetic condition of the drains and the blatant representation of the facts by the authorities before the committee’, the House later adopted a resolution moved by Dwarka legislator Adarsh Shastri, directing the Delhi government that “all the recommendations made in its report’ be implemented.
“…Further directs that an action taken report on the implementation of recommendations in the above mentioned report be tabled in the House within 30 days,” the resolution read.
BJP targets Jain
The opposition BJP on Monday rejected the petitions committee report on de-silting saying the entire exercise was an attempt to shift the blame on Public Works Department (PWD) officials while trying to save the PWD minister Satyendar Jain. BJP said Jain is responsible for timely de-silting of drains.
“We oppose the report and the resolution as it does not fix the responsibility of the concerned minister and shifts the blame on PWD officials,” said BJP-SAD legislator Manjinder Singh Sirsa, who has led the opposition charge during the four-day special session in absence of leader of opposition, Vijender Gupta.
Terming it a ‘failure’ of the government, Sirsa said the ruling party cannot get away merely by blaming other agencies. “The traffic police had long back sent the PWD a list of 370 points which are prone to water-logging. Over 350 points on the list are under the Delhi government. Why does the high court need to intervene every year to make this happen,” Sirsa said.
BJP MLA Jagdish Pradhan said the entire exercise smacks of a ‘conspiracy’ conducted by the petitions committee as the nine-member panel had only ruling party legislators and it did not visit constituencies of opposition legislators.
“Moreover, the committee focused only on the PWD and MCD drains. Why none of the flood department drains were inspected?” Pradhan said, citing examples of several locations where the flood department drains have not been de-silted for several years.
He also demanded a complete ban on polythene carry bags and a fine of Rs 50,000 on its use as they often land up in the drains and choking them in the process.