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Government makes a mockery of transfer policy

Year after year, the state government issues guidelines for the posting and transfer of officials and then fails to follow them by transferring senior officials frequently thereby subjecting them to additional stress that hampers their working.

punjab Updated: Aug 10, 2014 10:43 IST
Anshu Seth
Anshu Seth
Hindustan Times

Year after year, the state government issues guidelines for the posting and transfer of officials and then fails to follow them by transferring senior officials frequently thereby subjecting them to additional stress that hampers their working.

Ironically, the transfers are not restricted to giving postings to the officials outside the district but an odd pattern has surfaced wherein the senior officials are given inter-departmental postings.

By the time, a senior official becomes familiar with the working of a particular office, he or she is transferred to another department that once again subjects the particular official to the "teething problems" in the new department.

Office of ADC (general)

For example Baldev Singh was posted as additional deputy commissioner on February 13, 2014, and he remained in office only for five months and was transferred on July 16. He was replaced by Neeru Katyal Gupta whose tenure lasted for nine days as she was replaced by Amrit Kaur Gill who till then was working as deputy excise and taxation commissioner (DETC) in Ludhiana. Gill's term of DETC was also short lived.

The ADC (general) is the right hand of deputy commissioner as he/she helps the latter in taking important decisions and also officiates in the absence of the DC.

As per the policy of the state government which was released recently , it was categorically stated that transfers would be kept to the barest minimum and would be made against vacant posts except where the transfers were justified on administrative or compassionate grounds. However, the reality is just the opposite. Premature transfers - like transfer of any employee before he has completed minimum three years - would not be ordered except under rare circumstances of punishment or clearly spelt out administrative reasons, further states the transfer policy.

Police commissionerate

So much so for the erratic transfers that Ludhiana despite having got police commissionerate four years ago to curtail crime rate has seen unwarranted transfers of the police commissioners. Ever since the inception of police commissionerate, the local politicians have exercised their right to get them transferred thereby making a mockery of an important office. As many as seven officers were transferred 10 times.

Ishwar Singh, Ishwar Chander, Sharat Satya Chauhan Paramjit Singh Gill, Nirmal Singh Dhillon, RK Jaiswal feature in the list of police commissioners who despite having competence could not deliver due to their short tenures.

"For the last five months, my application for police security has not moved from police commissioner's office, the reason being frequent transfers of the officials," a senior citizen said. He stated that he would hold the department responsible if anything happens to him.

Municipal corporation

The scenario is equally disappointing if we take a look at the transfers of MC commissioners. Rakesh Verma was the MC commissioner till October 2013 and was replaced by Rahul Tewari who stayed in the office till February 2014.

Thereafter, Shruti Singh took over and remained in office till May 27 as on May 28 Dr Basant Garg was appointed the new MC commissioner but even before he could take charge, he was replaced by Pradeep Agarwal in a span of three days.

"Already , MC is reeling under financial crunch and this instability in terms of commissioner who is the commander-in-chief of all the wings functional under the civic body creates total pandemonium thereby giving the local politicians a chance to dictate their terms to the junior officials," shared a senior MC official.

Assistant commissioner (grievances)

The office of assistant commissioner (grievances) deals with complaints of general public pertaining to their pension benefits, violations child rights/human rights and issues related to NRIs. But repeated transfers in the last one year has obstructed the working of the office. A large number of complaints went unattended thereby adding to the backlog.

Since January 2013, four officials including Jatinder Pal Singh, Daljit Kaur, Mohinder Pal, Bhupinder Singh were transferred. People are keeping their fingers crossed for a long innings by the present commissioner Kanu Thind.

Prolonged stay

On the other hand a large number of officials/employees who enjoy the patronage of their political bosses have continued in their respective seats for 5-8 years, which is a blatant violation of the transfer policy wherein transfer is mandatory after three years. Some of the offices where officials have stayed for a prolonged period are: Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, Zila Parishad, Municipal Corporation, PWD etc.

First Published: Aug 10, 2014 00:10 IST