Chandigarh CEO opens front against housing board chairman

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 15, 2015 09:55 IST
CEO SB Deepak Kumar (left) and chairman Maninder Singh (right) of the Chandigarh Housing Board (HT Photo)

The chief executive officer (CEO) of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has opened a front against the board chairman for allegedly ignoring him in taking major decisions.

Though the war of words between board CEO SB Deepak Kumar and chairman Maninder Singh began many months back, the latter on Wednesday chose to boycott the governing body meeting of the board. Even CHB secretary Danish Ashraf did not attend the meeting as he was on leave today.

The CEO has also shot off a letter to the UT adviser alleging irregularities in the way the board meetings were conducted. Urging the adviser to issue directions to the board chairman, the CEO said the work environment was not conducive and teamwork was lacking in the CHB.

The CHB secretary and the CEO also gave their dissent note for the governing body meeting held on September 2 saying: “We like to register our strong dissent against the manner in which the board meeting was held. The agenda items were approved in haste without the involvement of the CEO and the secretary of the board. As such, the proceedings are invalid due to lack of quorum.”

All three — the CEO, secretary and chairman — are IAS officers.

In the recent letter to UT adviser Vijay Dev, the board CEO stated that at a meeting held on September 2, he and the secretary were on leave and the chairman did not involve them in preparing the agenda.

He alleged that the agenda items were approved without the quorum. Even the chief architect and the chief engineer did not attend the meeting and their signatures were taken later, the letter states.

The CEO alleged that all files were processed directly bypassing him and even the copies of the orders were not marked to him. “The chairman was pressuring my personal staff to mark the files busy even when I am present, without my permission. My staff member was transferred and was reinstated after I met the chairman personally,” the letter states.

A seven-day notice should be given for the board meeting by the secretary and agenda items should be sent at least three days before the meeting. However, the chairman called the meeting in a day, the CEO alleged.

The letter stated that the legal consultant was appointed at the September 2 meeting of the board against the orders of UT administration.

Board chairman Maninder Singh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Action sought against CEO

The CHB chairman read out the dissent note of the CEO and the secretary at the governing body meeting on Wednesday. Taking strong exception to the note, the board members, including Tarsem Lal and Darshan Garg, demanded strict action against CEO. They said: It’s nothing but ego problem. If the CEO has any grievances, he should speak up at the meeting instead of boycotting the same.”

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