The transfer of five UT cadre officers, including the adviser, within two days is expected to hit development in the city with progress on major projects expected to slow down considerably. The officers held the charge of more than more than 30 departments and were yet to complete their tenure.
Smart city project report due by Apr 15
Sub-divisional magistrate Danish Ashraf was the nodal officer of smart city project and had been working on it from Day 1. The proposal for making it to the second list of smart city project has to be submitted by April 15. It is unlikely that the new incumbent would be able to do justice to the assignment.
The transfer of the adviser will also mean that the decision of a car-free day is likely to be put on hold. Of the four officers transferred, Kashish Mittal and Danish Ashraf were to complete their tenure in September, while Prince Dhawan had tenure of a year left.
Move to catch traffic offenders in limbo
Kashish Mittal was additional DC, director, hospitality, additional excise and taxation commissioner, in-charge of registering and licensing authority, secretary state transport authority and joint electoral officer. Mittal was instrumental in revamping the working of the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) and had also planned to come up with some new initiatives. Mittal was also working to introduce a web-based database to identify serial traffic offenders and challan defaulters.
The project was meant to identify people defaulting on payment of fines. Now, the introduction of this project is also likely to be delayed. Prince Dhawan was the land acquisition officer (LAO), assistant estate officer (AEO), sub-divisional magistrate SDM (central) and director of information technology. He was working on the revamping and streamlining of the estate office.
Work on projects such as the recent tie-up between the UT administration and the French government is also expected to be delayed with the change of guard. The adviser was also looking at the implementation of the industrial policy. “The city’s development will be hit for the next few months at least with new officers joining in,” a senior officer said.
Before the transfers, the issue of UT cadre officers being given undue importance by Dev had been discussed in the corridors of power with some officials claiming that Punjab and Haryana officers were not getting their due. There is also a theory doing the rounds that the transfer of five IAS officers of the UT cadre was meant to ‘bring back’ the balance between UT, Punjab and Haryana cadre officers. The three officers were also close confidants of the UT adviser and were holding prime departments.
As a convention, the Chandigarh administration used to draw its officers in 60:40 ratio from Punjab and Haryana, but for the past couple of years, UT cadre officers were dominating the scene. Sources in the administration said officers from Punjab and Haryana were expected to be posted as replacement for the five UT cadre officers.
New adviser Parimal Rai to take charge on March 14
The 1985 AGMUT cadre officer Parimal Rai will take charge as the UT adviser on March 14.
Rai, who completed his post graduation from the IIT, Delhi, started his career as sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) in Delhi in 1987. He later served on several posts under Delhi, Arunachal, Lakshadweep and Goa governments.
Parimal Rai, too, remained in controversies while serving several posts. During his tenure as chairman of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), he was booked for accepting favours in contracts for upgrading Shivaji Stadium during the Commonwealth Games in 2010. His name also figured in an FIR registered by the CBI in July 2012 for irregularities in construction of a convention centre, which led to over ` 15-crore loss to the exchequer.