Despite more than a fortnight having passed since orders for his transfer were received by the Chandigarh Administration, Satya Gopal, Chairman of Chandigarh Housing Board continues to hold office and is lobbying for an extension.
The orders for transfer were received on May 7 from Ministry of Home Affairs for transfer of Gopal to Arunachal Pradesh. In fact, his transfer orders were received earlier in September last year as well. At that time, the administration had sought an extension for him on the grounds that there were several ongoing projects of the CHB that required his presence.
Gopal, who is a 1988-batch AGMUT cadre officer, said that the orders were incorrect. “The orders were received when the model code of conduct was in force and no one could be relieved. It is when the orders for my relieving are received that I will be going,” he said.
Interestingly, it was after permission was sought from the Election Commission by MHA that the transfer orders were issued. When the orders were received, those close to him had termed it a conspiracy by a senior official of the administration and some politicians. There is speculation that Gopal is eying the post of the UT Adviser.
It was also being touted that once the BJP comes to power he would get a plum posting. Recently, Satya Gopal along with three other officials also visited the residence of senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan and held a meeting with the newly elected MP Kirron Kher.
The stint of Gopal in the city has witnessed several tenements under the rehabilitation scheme being completed and handed over to the slum-dwellers. Though the implementation of the scheme in the city received an award at the Centre, the design of the tenements has attracted much criticism. Among those who had been critical of the design was former Union Minister Kumari Selja who handed over the keys of the tenements. She took up the issue that two-room tenements should be provided.
The design for the same was prepared. But it has run into rough weather with the UT Finance Secretary Sarvjit Singh who is disapproving of the design. The Finance Secretary has suggested changes that needs to be made and wrote a letter criticising the design to the CHB chairman.
There are several issues that have been pending in the CHB for some time and could not be resolved during his tenure. These include regularisation of need-based changes, demands of the employees for houses under the employees housing scheme and the flats being constructed under the general housing scheme being incomplete.