ALL IS not well within the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB). After chief executive officer (CEO) Kavita Singh writing to the UT Adviser against chairman Maninder Singh, CHB secretary Shilpy Pattar has lodged a complaint against the chief engineer of the board.
In her letter to the adviser, Shilpy Pattar, who had recently joined CHB, has accused chief engineer Rajiv Singla of misbehaving with her.
In the letter, she stated that Singla came to her office on October 3 and misbehaved with her in the presence of an accounts officer of CHB.
She stated that Singla was asked to certify on the files that the proposal pertaining to outsourcing of services in CHB was as per rules. The chief engineer came to discuss two files, started shouting and stated that rules cannot be followed completely and that is why he cannot certify the proposal. She claimed that she calmly told the chief engineer not to speak with her in such a manner, but in vain.
Pattar stated that recently in the board meeting held on August 12, she was appointed the chairman of a committee for running and maintaining public toilets, of which the chief engineer was a member. The members of the committee bypassed her and put up a proposal for opinion of legal remembrancer (LR) to the chairman and got the opinion the same day, that is, September 22. Pattar claimed that she had earlier dissociated herself from the committee on September 23. In spite of these facts, the proceedings of this committee were included in the agenda of the board meeting held on September 28. She claimed that the agenda was not put up through her.
The letter read: “The above facts along with the fact that chief engineer gets angry when asked to state that proposal being put up by him is in order and the misbehaviour shown by him amounts to gross misconduct and casts a shadow on his working in an organisation like CHB on an important post of chief engineer.”
Chairman, CEO at loggerheads
CHB chairman Maninder Singh is yet again at loggerheads with a board official. This time with CEO Kavita Singh, who is also managing director of Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO).
Kavita wrote to UT Adviser Parimal Rai urging him to relieve her of the charge. She has accused Maninder of misbehaving with her and bypassing her on official matters.
In her complaint, Kavita alleged that some of the agenda items of board meeting held on September 28 were not discussed with her. She alleged that the chairman misbehaved with her on September 29 when she had gone to discuss the issue with him.When contacted, Maninder rubbished the allegations. “I will take up the matter with the adviser,” he said.
Despite repeated attempts, Kavita was not available for comment.
Board members rally behind chairman
The non-official board members have come in support of the chairman. Raghuvir Lal Arora maintained that the CEO should have taken up the issue in the board meeting held on September 28, which she did not attend. He alleged that the CEO had not been able to devote time to the board as she was holding more than one charge. “As a result of this, the functioning of the board is getting affected,” said Arora.
While supporting Maninder Singh, Prem Kaushik, another board member, said that the administration should appoint officials in the board who are not holding any other charge.
Maninder Singh was in news for a tiff with former CEO Deepak Kumar. Due to the tiff, Deepak was transferred from the board. Deepak had incurred irregular expenditure on his camp office, following which Maninder marked an inquiry to probe the irregularities. The inquiry pointed out that the CEO, on his own, approved purchase of expensive household items from CHB funds without seeking approval from the chairman or the board. The chairman also had an issue with the then secretary Adapa Kartik, who had claimed TA\A for official tours of department of industries from CHB.
Even chief architect Kapil Setia had a run-in with the board after it allowed grills in balconies and verandahs of the dwelling units. In a letter written in May, Setia had stated that the decision would affect light and ventilation and the urban design. The decision of the board to allow allottees to cover 70 per cent of the plot area has been challenged by finance secretary Sarvjit Singh on grounds that allowing more covered area was not part of the Chandigarh Master Plan 2031.