Sidhu had locked horns with councillors,alleging corruption in MC
The ongoing rift between Patiala municipal commissioner Harkesh Singh Sidhu and councillors saw an end on Friday with the government passing orders to remove Sidhu with immediate effect.
Sidhu had been vocal about the prevalent corruption in the corporation.
While no replacement has been named,Divisional Commissioner Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia will hold the additional charge.
A similar treatment had been meted out to former municipal commissioner M P Arora after he locked horns with local councillors who had alleged that they were treated shabbily by the commissioner in June 2008.
Arora was subsequently transferred and replaced by the then divisional commissioner,S K Ahluwalia.
Patiala Mayor Ajit Pal Singh Kohli,too,had been complaining that Sidhu was making transfers from home and without consulting him.
He (Sidhu) had met with an accident a few days ago and though he was not attending office,he made a few transfers without taking me into confidence, alleged Kohli.
Sources,meanwhile,said Sidhu had tightened his noose around illegal buildings in the city and had also broken the nexus between certain contractors and councillors.
As soon as his orders of transfer were out on Friday evening,tubewell contracts were handed over at very high prices. As many as 13 contracts were bagged by those close to Akali councillors, said a source.
The councillors,meanwhile,said the spat between the mayor and the commissioner hampered the development works.
We are responsible to the people and cannot tolerate if they have to suffer because of minor issues, said one of them.
Kohli,however,said he had no problem with the commissioner as both were in Patiala for the development of the city. It was his attitude towards councillors that might have led to his transfer and I have nothing to do with it despite the fact that we thought differently on certain issues, he said.
Reacting to his transfer,H S Sidhu said he had found out that certain councillors presented wrong estimates to the chief minister during his visit and a survey conducted by him had proved that Rs 13 crore was wrongly claimed.
I had brought in army contractors and was about to release tubewell tenders on cost basis when the councillors took advantage of my accident and managed to transfer me out, he stated.