Centre transfers 25 Delhi Govt officials

Notwithstanding a demand by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the Home Ministry transferred 25 Delhi Government officials out of the city administration.

New Delhi: Notwithstanding a demand by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the Home Ministry on Wednesday transferred 25 Delhi Government officials out of the city administration.

The transfer orders of the DANICS (Delhi, Andaman Nicobar Island Civil Services) officers came a day after Dikshit met Home Minister P Chidambram and demanded that the city government be consulted before effecting transfer of senior officials of her administration.

Dismissing suggestions that it has "unilaterally" effected reshuffle in Delhi and Goa administrations, the Home Ministry on Wednesday said all transfers and postings of senior officers were done as per laid down rules.

Sources said Home Ministry has indicated to the Delhi Government that it has started the process to transfer a number of top officials from Delhi Government including Chief Minister`s Principal Secretary M M Kutty, Industries Secretary Chetan Sanghi, Delhi Jal Board CEO Debashree Mukherjee, Commissioner of South Delhi Municipal Corporation Manish Gupta, Food and Civil Supplies secretary Dharampal and Labour secretary Ramesh Tiwari.

Dikshit on Tuesday had conveyed to Chidambaram that these top officials are implementing a number of key projects and schemes and their "sudden transfer" would affect governance seriously.

She had also asked the Home Minister not to transfer officials of her administration in a "haphazard manner" and said that the city government should be consulted before any such move.

The DANICS officials who have been transferred from Delhi Government include Deputy Commissioner of East Distric S K Bhandari, Additional Secretary in Department of Finance Banshi Lal Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of South District Umesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Central district D N Singh, Chief General Manager of DTC Rakesh Bhatnagar and Secretary to PWD Minister Sudhir Mahajan.

Most of the officers have been transferred to Andaman and Nicober Islands while some of them have been transferred to Lakshadweep and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Five officials currently serving in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicober Island have been posted to Delhi government.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly V K Malhotra, in a call attention motion, severely criticised the Chief Minister for not informing the House about the issue of transfer of senior officials and her meeting with the Home Minister.

"Dikshit gave interviews to the media but did not inform the House about the issue which is not acceptable. She should have taken the House into confidence," he said, adding the Home Ministry should consult the city government in such matters.

As a solution to the problem, Malhotra asked Dikshit to seek full statehood for Delhi and promised full support of his party if such a demand was raised.

"There should be some consultation. The Goa Chief Minister has also objected to arbitrary transfer and postings," Malhotra said.

The senior BJP leader also targeted Dikshit for writting a letter to Chidambaram seeking to insulate former NDMC Chairman Parimal Rai from a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in implementation of a Commonwealth Games project by the civic agency.

"This is a serious issue. How can Dikshit seek protection of an officer," Malhotra wondered.

Dikshit, in a letter earlier this month, had sought Chidambaram`s intervention to ensure that the CBI is not given permission in a "haste" to probe the role of Rai, an IAS officer of 1985 batch, in the alleged irregularities in construction of NDMC`s convention Centre in Connaught Place.

Rai was transferred to Goa last month.

Dikshit chose not to respond to Malhotra`s criticism.