NEW DELHI: Bureaucratic crisis hits Delhi administration as posts of heads of 12 top departments are lying vacant after some senior IAS officers were transferred and a few of them retired. Adding to the woes, many senior AGMUT (Assam-Meghalaya, Manipur-Tripura, and Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories) cadre IAS officers posted outside Delhi are reluctant to return.
Of the 30 important departments, 12 departments—Finance, Home, General Administration, Tourism, Planning, IT, Power, Social Welfare, Revenue, Higher Education, New Delhi Municipal Council and Chief Electoral Office—have remained without their heads for more than a month now.
Chief Secretary D M Spolia, who was removed from the post when the Aam Aadmi Party came to power in the capital and was reappointed to the post in August replacing S K Srivastava, is managing the state of affairs by assigning additional charges to the already overburdened officers. “There is acute shortage of officers in the administration at senior levels as over two dozen officials are holding dual charges,” said an IAS officer.
A 1984-batch officer, Arvind Ray has been holding the additional charge of Home Department after its head Archna Arora, a 1983 batch IAS officer, retired on September 30. Ray is the Principal Secretary (SC/ST/OBC/Minorities), and Chairman and MD of Delhi State Financial Development Corporation.
The top post in the tourism department has been lying vacant for the last three months after Rinku Dhugga, 1994 batch IAS officer, was transferred to Arunachal Pradesh. S S Yadav, who heads Food and Supply Department as well as Directorate of Information and Publicity, holds the additional charge of the Tourism Department.
Similarly, Principal Secretary (Services) Shakuntala Gamlin has been given the additional charge of New Delhi Municipal Council Chairperson as current Chairman Jalaj Srivastava is going abroad for special training. Srivastava has been empanelled to the rank of Additional Secretary. Gamlin is likely to take charge on October 25. She has also been given the additional responsibility of General Administration after 1983-batch IAS officer Lalmalsawma, who was heading General Administration, has been transferred to Mizoram.
Lalmalsawma was also the Principal Secretary of Social Welfare and Women and Child Development Department. Environment Department Secretary Sanjiv Kumar will hold additional charge of Social Welfare and Women and Child Development Department.
1985 batch IAS officer M M Kutty, who was heading both the Finance and Planning departments, is also going for training to the US. Spolia has retained the departments.
After Principal Secretary of Power Department Arun Goyal, a 1985-batch IAS officer, has been transferred to Mizoram, Amit Yadav has been tasked to head the department. Yadav is already Chief Managing Director of Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation and Secretary-cum-Commissioner of Industries.
R K Verma, Principal Secretary (Technical and Higher Education), is to retire on November 1. The 1984-batch IAS officer has sought Voluntary Retirement Scheme. Education Department Secretary Anindo Majumdar has been given the charge of his department. Verma was also head of Information and Technology Department, which will be headed by Arun Baroka, Secretary of Public Welfare Department.
Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev is set to join as Advisor to the Administrator of Chandigarh. Delhi Jal Board CEO Vijay Kumar may be given additional charge of Dev’s post. Transport Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti has been given additional charge of Divisional Commissioner of Revenue Department after Dharam Pal was transferred as Finance Commissioner.
While an IAS officer has been assigned to head two or three departments in Delhi administration, many officers serving outside the city are reluctant to join the administration that is witnessing “political uncertainty”. Senior IAS officers like Parimal Rai serving in Goa, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi were not keen to return.