Change of Secretaries Hits Revenue Department Work - The New Indian Express

Change of Secretaries Hits Revenue Department Work

Published: 12th December 2013 10:02 AM

Last Updated: 12th December 2013 10:02 AM

The frequent change of Secretaries in the Revenue Department is posing hurdles to  the smooth functioning of the department, with many important decisions getting delayed and files being piled up.

The last time the department had a Secretary who had a long stint was when Nivedita P Haran held the office for more than five years before she was made the director of the Institute of Management in Government in April 2012.

 From April 2012, the department had seen a continuous change of guard with six Secretaries occupying the seat till now. K B Valsala Kumari, who came after Nivedita P Haran, retired in October 2012, which means she was at the helm for just six months. The government then appointed G Kamala Vardhana Rao and he took charge in January 2013.

However, he went on leave in May 2013 and the gap then was filled by T O Sooraj, who was given the charge. In June, the government handed over the charge to T J Mathew, who continued till September. Rao, who joined duty as Secretary on his return from leave in October continued till November and had gone on leave again. The government then gave the charge to Asha Thomas and Tom Jose, who were in the post for about 10 days each. And now Satyajeet Rajan is the new Secretary who took charge on Tuesday.

When ‘Express’ contacted Rajan and mentioned about the continuous changeover of the department heads, he said that he would be in office for a longer period. ‘’I will be here for at least three or more years,” he said.

The continuous change of secretaries has affected the sustained functioning of the department. Highly-placed sources alleged that there were no takers for the post as there was much interference in their functioning and pressure on them, especially on controversial issues. They said that the officials had just vanished to avoid making any compromise as they were not given a free hand in taking decisions.

Moreover, the government had shunted out the officials who had taken stern decisions. Nivedita P Haran is alleged to have been removed for her firm stand in many land cases, which had given a tough time to the political leadership. The cases related to the Golf Club here, Harrisons Malayalam Ltd and other similar cases related to government land in which she had taken a bold step giving often a harrowing time for the government.

Sooraj, who had only a brief stint, was alleged to have been removed after he issued orders declaring transfer of land for the Aranmula airport as void as the land in question was excess land.

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