Much to the chagrin of the Haryana bureaucracy, the Haryana cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers in the union territory of Chandigarh are being constantly marginalised.
Taking a serious note of this, UT home secretary Anil Kumar, a 1988 Haryana cadre IAS officer, has sounded the Haryana government seeking its intervention in stopping the trend.
In the letter, the home secretary has urged the government to take up the issue with the union ministry of home affairs (MHA) besides taking it up in the state assembly.
A senior official of the Haryana government confirmed to have received the letter. Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda will now take up the matter with the MHA.
Importance to UT cadre officers
According to the norms, 60% bureaucrats in Chandigarh come from Punjab and 40% from Haryana. The post of the adviser is reserved for a UT cadre officer.
In his letter, Anil Kumar claimed that the Haryana cadre officers had been kept out of the decision-making process, the authority that rested with the UT administrator, who is governor of Punjab, and the adviser.
Expressing anguish, the UT home secretary, in the letter, has said that more importance is being given to the UT cadre officers. With little role in decision-making, the home secretary said Haryana should be given the post of adviser so that the state could play a role in decision-making of the city, a joint capital of Punjab and Haryana. The tenure of incumbent adviser KK Sharma ends in April.
What triggered this
Earlier this month, the administration had taken eight charges from Anil Kumar, which were given to V Lalremthanga, a 2004 Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT) IAS officer. It included charge of secretary, social welfare, corporations, animal husbandry and fisheries, agriculture; chairman, Chandigarh SC, BC and Minorities Financial Development Corporation; and chairman, Chandigarh Child and Women Development Corporation. In September last year, Anil Kumar was relieved of the charge of transport secretary which was given to Bhavna Garg, a 1999 Punjab cadre IAS officer.
The charge of chief vigilance officer (CVO), a post which is traditionally held by the home secretary, is with the adviser. At present, Anil Kumar has charge of only two important departments -- home and health.
According to sources, the home secretary as chairman of the social welfare department had been pushing for increasing the reservation for SCs in educational institutes from 15% to19% for the past one year. Sources claim that UT administrator Shivraj Patil had agreed to it in principle.
Preferential treatment to UT cadre officers?
The Chandigarh administration seems to have a soft corner for the UT cadre officers as it has been giving them extension in services even after expiry of their terms.
At present, there are three UT cadre officers out of total five, who have been given extension.
Last year, the administration had extended the term of Prerna Puri, a 2006 batch AGMUT-cadre officer, by a year. Earlier, she was given a year's extension to serve in Chandigarh after her transfer to Arunachal Pradesh was ordered in December 2011.
Meanwhile, Tanvi Garg, a 2009 AGMUT-cadre officer, and Satya Gopal, a 1988 batch AGMUT-cadre officer, have not been relieved despite the MHA issuing their transfer orders last year.
At present, there are two IAS officers each from Punjab and Haryana serving in Chandigarh while the number of UT cadre officers is five.
In 2012, the officers of the two states had held a meeting with the adviser to discuss the issue of favouritism shown to the AGMUT cadre.
Home secretary Anil Kumar confirmed that he had taken up the issue with the state government to safeguard the interests of Haryana.
Aware of the development, UT adviser KK Sharma said the UT cadre officers were not given preferential treatment and Anil Kumar was well within his rights to take up the issue with the state government.