For the UT Administration,the estate office and the deputy commissioners office seem to be least importance. Two key officials the deputy commissioner and the assistant estate officer (AEO) are absent and with no other official being handed charge of their official duties,the government machinery has virtually been brought to a standstill. Both Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh and AEO Rahul Gupta are on leave and there is little or no work taking place at their offices causing considerable harassment to locals.
Sources say that while Gupta has been on leave since December 28 and will only join after till January 6,Brijendra Singh is on leave from January 2 to 10. Singh,however,attended office till December 30,the next two days were part of the weekend.
What is startling is the fact that while the senior UT Administration officials are very particular about handing over charges of officers who proceed on leave,in the case of the DC and the AEO,even in the past,the official duties were not allocated to others leaving enough space for rumours and speculation over the motive behind the reluctance.
UT Advisor K K Sharma said, We have already given the officiating charge of the DC to another officer and he would be taking it in a day or so. Meanwhile,it is the general public who are suffering in the absence of any senior officers. With January 2 being a Monday and the first working day of the year,many city residents had come to meet the officers but had to go back empty handed in their absence. The situation was no different even on Tuesday when the residents who had come to meet the officials during the public meeting hour between 12 noon to 1,had to go back.
55-year-old Kamaljeet,a resident of Sector 40 who had come to meet the AEO regarding a property case,had to return home when told the AEO was absent. I had come on Monday as well and I was told to come again. But I did not know that he is on leave for two three more days,otherwise I would not have come in this cold,he said while talking to Chandigarh Newsline.
Even the courts,being held by the AEO on Mondays and Tuesdays to deal with building violations cases and misuse cases respectively,could not be held and those who had come for it were also left with no choice but to leave.