After deputy commissioner Amit Dhaka was transferred in less than seven months of service from here, the Punjab government has given the district six deputy commissioners in just two years.
Senior superintendents of police are also changed at will. Before that, Tanu M.Kashyap was replaced in eight months, Varun Roojam in five and Monashvi Kumar in just three months.
Anindita Mitra is the new DC. She was earlier DC Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. Notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s ruling that bureaucrats must get a certain minimum tenure in postings, frequent transfers of deputy commissioners has adversely affected the administrative functioning in the district even as it has eroded the government’s credibility in public mind.
“Once again, it has become clear that officers who do not compromise their integrity for political favours would not be held on key posts,” said a resident.
It is pertinent to mention here that all the MLAs of the ruling alliance had united to get a deputy commissioner transferred who kept one of them waiting in his office as he was busy with court work.
It is believed that some negative feedback by local leaders worked against Dhaka. BJP Rajya Sabha member Avinash Rai Khanna, however, said he was saddened at the transfer as the officer was doing his job diligently.
“I do not want to comment on the reasons behind the transfer but I surely will miss his professionalism,” said Khanna.
Congress MLA Sunder Sham Arora also expressed his displeasure at the premature transfer, stating that the government is out to ruin work culture. “Due to frequent transfers, public work gets compromised. Governments do not run on whims and fancies of a handful politicians. They have to keep public interest in mind,” he added.
Social activist SK Pomra said the bureaucracy should be free from political interference. “At a time when the government’s reputation is at stake, it should promote and not humiliate honest officers,” he said.
Astha Bagga, a Ph.D (law) student, said transferring civil servants at such short intervals was a violation of civil services rules. “Governments should favour competency but sadly they keep political interests in mind. If civil servants do not have stability or security of tenure, they would not be able to work to their best,” she said.
“Transfers and postings of bureaucrats have become instrument of punishment and rewards in the hands of politicians which is very sad,” added Bagga.