The transfer of assistant town planner (ATP) Kamaljit Kaur right after she ordered the demolition of an illegal structure being raised by a BJP councillor has raised eyebrows; more so because the transfer comes at a time when the municipal corporation (MC) is already facing severe staff crunch.
On the one hand some claim that Kaur was transferred as she took action against an illegal construction being raised under political patronage, on the other hand some political leaders have accused her of being biased.
Interestingly, Kaur's transfer was initially ordered around a month ago after a senior BJP leader complained against her for taking action against some encroachments on Chauri Sadak. However, as a result of staff crunch, the MC commissioner did not relieve her from services.
Continuing with her duty, Kaur on October 27 ordered the demolition of an illegal construction being raised in a public park near Chand Cinema by ward number 33 councillor Raghbir Singh Beera.
Though Beera claimed that he had informed mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria before starting construction, Gohalwaria denied the claims.
Sourced said as she followed directions to raze the illegal construction, political pressure was put on the MC to relieve her immediately, following which she was relieved on October 30.
It is pertinent to mention here that five of the total six ATP posts in Ludhiana are now lying vacant after Kaur's transfer.
Earlier, Zone C ATP Banke Bihari was caught red-handed while taking bribe, while ATP Rajinder Sharma was transferred following allegations of not performing his job honestly. Besides, ATP Harpreet Ghai, who was under scanner for alleged corruption, was also transferred to another city.
Meanwhile, residents have demanded an end to the political interference in the working of the building branch. After the market association of Feroze Gandhi Market condemned Kaur's transfer, now Council of RTI Activists has raised questions on her transfer.
RTI activist Rohit Sabharwal, alleged, “If an officer is taking action against a violation nurturing under political patronage, he or she is awarded transfer. This interference needs to stop.”
Congress councillors' spokesperson Parminder Mehta too condemned the transfer. He said, “This is a politically motivated transfer. The official was just performing her duty and following the directions of the high court that construction cannot take place in green belts. MC commissioner and mayor should clear their stands.”
When contacted, mayor Gohalwaria claimed, “There is no political interference behind Kaur's transfer. It was normal protocol. It was me who ordered the demolition of the illegal construction in the park.”