In a development that many councillors of the Jalandhar municipal corporation are terming as their victory, the civic body has received the transfer orders of senior town planner Shakti Sagar Bhatia to Amritsar following a fight between officials of the building branch and councillors.
Shakti Sagar Bhatia along with municipal town planner Tejpreet Singh will join the Amritsar municipal corporation on Monday. They will be replaced by Amritsar senior town planner Hemant Batra and Amritsar municipal town planner Deshraj.
The reshuffle is being seen as a crisis management step taken by the government at a time when the alliance members in the civic body were targeting and making public statements against each other.
Due to this action, the issue of illegal buildings across the city that had taken the house meeting on December 1 by the storm, has been put to rest, at least for the while.
“This decision will bring reforms in the MC and it is also a warning to other officials who are indulging in corruption. We are happy with the decision,” said senior deputy mayor Kamaljit Singh Bhatia.
Some councillors are happy with the fact that their demand for the transfer of the senior town planner has been accepted by the chief minister. However, their demand for apology by the MC official has not been accepted.
“It is no less than a victory for us that the most corrupt official in the municipal corporation’s building branch has been transferred,” said former Congress councillor Manoj Arora.
Arora had gheraoed municipal commissioner GS Khaira’s office on December 10 along with senior deputy mayor Kamaljit Singh Bhatia, leader of opposition in MC Jagdish Raja, BJP councillors Ravi Mahendru and Gopal Das.
There are others who are not pleased with the decision of the high command. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Gopal Verma said, “We had demanded apology from the senior town planner in the House meeting. But it has not been granted. Personally I am not happy with the decision. Now the official has got better place than he was working at earlier.”
Meanwhile Shakti Sagar Bhatia who had earlier annoyed the city councillors and political leaders in the city by passing ‘derogatory remarks’ is now playing safe.
“I am a government employee and am obliged to follow government orders,” said Shakti Sagar Bhatia.
About the city councillors accusing him of being corrupt, he said, “I can’t comment on the issue but I am happy about the fact that I have been transferred to my hometown Amritsar.”
Bhatia said he was communicated about the development on Friday.
“When a situation gets out of control, the authorities have to take certain steps to settle the matter,” said mayor Sunil Jyoti.
Senior Akali leader and former education minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan was given the task by the chief minister to inquire the matter and submit the report to him.
BJP councillor Ravi Mahendru couldn’t be reached for his comments.