NEW DELHI: With the election model code of conduct likely to kick in soon, the Delhi administration has carried out a major bureaucratic reshuffle. Over a dozen IAS officers have been reshuffled after it was found that the administration was unable to perform “efficiently and effectively”. Projecting a responsive governance during election time only helps the ruling dispensation—BJP in this case—as the state is currently under the President’s Rule.
A senior IAS officer said that the administration has failed to perform during the President’s Rule in Delhi. “Nearly 60 per cent of the total budgetary allocation of `16,700 crore, under the Plan head, remains unutilised with only about a quarter of the current fiscal remaining. The expenditure under the non-Plan budget has just crossed 60 per cent,” said the officer.
He also said that many ongoing infrastructure projects have been hanging fire. “Revenue collections have also declined by `3,000 crore in the current fiscal between April and November,” he added.
Of the 30 important departments, 12 were lying headless for the last three months which has led to the reshuffle of 14 IAS officers and eight Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) officers.
Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Nandan Sahai, who was divisional commissioner-revenue and did a lot of work in the last two months, was elevated as Principal Secretary of Finance and Vigilance departments. With him at the helm of finance department, Chief Secretary D M Spolia plans to expedite infrastructure projects. The finance department was lying almost headless after IAS officer MM Kutty joined Ministry of Environment and Forests. Shakuntala Gamlin, a 1984 batch IAS officer, who was already heading four departments, was temporarily given charge of the finance department.
Till a week ago, Gamlin was holding the charge of five departments. Considered close to Raj Niwas and Chief Secretary, she has been serving with the Delhi administration for the last 20 years. Now, Gamlin has been transferred to Power and Industries departments. Many top IAS officers are unhappy over Gamlin being made HoD of Power Department which was headless after IAS officer Arun Goyal was transferred to Mizoram.
Another IAS officer of the 1992 batch, Ashwini Kumar, who was Secretary of Social Welfare and Women and Child Development and SC/ST/OBC/minorities departments, has been given a bigger responsibility as Secretary (Revenue) and Divisional Commissioner. Under Kumar, the Social Welfare Department had sanctioned 35,685 new cases of old-age pension. The department is also linking all the pension schemes with Aadhar number in order to streamline the disbursement. Kumar is also known to be honest and an objective-oriented officer.
Similarly, Rajendra Kumar, who recently played a major role in amending the regulation regarding extending the cutoff date of unauthorised colonies that was passed by the Union Cabinet, has been appointed as Officer on Special Duty in charge of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, relieving Geetanjali Gupta Kundra. He is also the Secretary of Urban Development and director of Local Bodies.
Kundra, who joined Delhi administration two months ago from Central deputation was holding charge of Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP) and also nodal officer of Swachch Bharat Abhiyan temporarily, will head DSIIDC after Amit Yadav was shunted out to East Delhi Municipal Corporation for non-performance. Jung gave the charge to Kundra hoping that she might expedite ongoing projects which Yadav was unable to handle. S S Yadav, a 1995 batch IAS officer, has been brought back to Directorate of Information and Publicity after Kundra’s exit.
Anindo Majumdar, a 1985 batch IAS officer who was heading Education Department, has been transferred to Services Department as Principal Secretary. He has also been given additional charge of General Administrative Department (GAD), his familiar territory. Majumdar, however, has been brought to Services Department to resolve the issue of contractual employment.
S P Singh, a 1984 batch IAS officer who is heading the OBC Commission has been given the additional charge of SC, ST, OBC and Minorities department. Singh is considered a non-performer. Then, 1988 batch IAS officer Dharmapal will only remain as the Finance Commissioner. The Chief Secretary and Lieutenant Government are unhappy with him because when he was Divisional Commissioner three months ago, he had a fight with then Finance Secretary Kutty over circle rates and was pushing his agenda during categorisation of colonies.