Ask babus how ‘disturbed area’ tag benefits them

They get allowances,perks,security cover,besides other provision if they serve in a “disturbed area”

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: August 29, 2012 12:17:41 am

They get allowances,perks,security cover,besides other provision if they serve in a “disturbed area”

The decision to remove the “disturbed area tag” from the city beautiful does not seem to be too “beneficial” for the present set of UT Administration officials. For,gaining from the tag are the babus who get allowances,perks,security cover,besides other provision if they serve in a “disturbed area”.

Blame it on privileges attached to the tag which are extended to the officials who come here to serve in the city on various key posts,or lack of initiative among the officials who have served in the past. However,it is the residents of the city who are at the receiving end due to the tag.

“The international tourists and business is adversely affected due to the disturbed area tag which gets flagged. These days,tourists do a thorough research of any place before they visit it,and Union Territory of Chandigarh is still officially a disturbed area,” said an IT expert in the city. “Who would want to come here or invest in this place?”

“From monetary allowances to the provision of retention of a government house to the security cover for the officials,the benefits are too many for the UT Administration to shed the tag,” said a retired official of the Punjab government.

Besides,additional funds allocation in the budget,especially for extra manpower in the police department,is one of the key implications of the tag. While Punjab,which was living in the shadows of terrorism throughout the 1980s,has already shed the tag years ago,Chandigarh,which hardly has seen an adverse law and order situation in the past so many years,is still holding on to the tag for reasons best known to the UT officials.

Sources say that at least half a dozen former bureaucrats have still retained government accommodation in UT and have also been given security personnel as they had served in “disturbed” Chandigarh.

In Punjab,which was the hub of terrorist activities,the notification of disturbed area was withdrawn in 1997 but the order has not been revoked for Chandigarh yet.

“If the notification is withdrawn,the post of UT Chief Commissioner will be restored which will help in the overall development of the city. The city’s development has come to a standstill due to bureaucracy,as the officers come here for a short span,” said Surinder Bharadwaj,president of Janta Dal (U) who is also the petitioner in the PIL filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The Disturbed Area Act came into existence in 1983 and was enforced in UT in 1986. Also,the post of Chief Commissioner was abolished in 1984 and the Punjab Governor was nominated as the Administrator of Chandigarh.

The High Court had on Monday reprimanded the UT Administration officials for not doing enough to shed the tag.

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