IAS Chandrakala seemed to be a ‘favourite’ of both SP, BJP govts
IAS officer B Chandrakala, who has been accused of corruption in the illegal mining case being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), seemed to have been “favoured” by the both the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) governments, a look at the positions she held from time to time revealed.
Chandrakala, who was serving as chief development officer (CDO) in Prayagraj, was made the district magistrate of Hamirpur on April 13, 2012 when the SP was in power. She remained in the district, which was infamous for the illegal mining, for two years.
She allotted 50 mining leases to the mining mafiosi active in the area in clear violation of the rules, said a CBI official. Eighty percent of the mines were allotted to SP MLC Ramesh Mishra as well as BSP leader Sanjay Dixit. “The duo indulged in illegal mining and despite complaints by the district mining officers and local contractors, no action was taken against them under the pressure of the DM,” he said.
Usually, officers charged with corruption are punished with insignificant posting but Chandrakala was rewarded with her posting as DM Mathura. Though she remained there for four months only, she was then made DM of Bulandshahr.
In July 2016, she was under the CBI scanner after the Allahabad high court directed the CBI to probe into illegal sand mining in various districts, including Hamirpur. During investigations, the CBI found that illegal mining flourished in Hamirpur when Chandrakala was the DM (April 13, 2012 and June 6, 2014).
The taint was no barrier for Chandrakala as she was posted as DM Bijnore and later made DM of Meerut. “No action was taken against her even as it became clear that state government went through large revenue losses in Hamirpur due to illegal mining,” said an IAS officer .
In May 2017, the CBI interrogated Chandrakala after collecting incriminating evidence regarding her role in the illegal mining and action seemed imminent as the BJP was in power. Instead, she got a central deputation in New Delhi as director, Swacch Bharat Mission and deputy secretary in Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The BJP government lauded her efforts for making Bijnore open defecation free. “The government was aware that she was under CBI scanner, yet it cleared her central posting,” the officer said.
The state government in 2018 urged the centre to repatriate Chandrakala to UP.
Minister of state for Food Processing Niranjan Jyoti moved a proposal to make her personal secretary while a senior officer made strong efforts to retain her in the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation , the officer said. But Chandrakala was sent back to UP.