Following an uproar in the budget meeting of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation by councillors from all parties demanding cancellation of transfer orders of water and sewerage engineers in city, Election Commission replying to the letter of Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria has directed local bodies general secretary Ashok Gupta that there is no need to transfer officials who are ‘indirectly’ related with the process.
It is to be noted that in wake of coming Lok Sabha polls, election commission ordered transfer of around 20 engineers, sub divisional officers and employees of Operations and Maintenance Cell of Ludhiana MC. The cell looks after the water and sewerage supply in the city.
It included transfer of superintendent engineer Dharam Singh who is also heading building branch. Earlier, the election commission ordered transfer of all MC employees who are either posted in home district or at same post for three years.
However, no directions in this regard have come for transfer of assistant town planners and DCFA (deputy comptroller finance and audit) as EC has also ordered for their transfers from Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.
In a budget meeting held on Feb 24, councillors from all parties took a unanimous call and passed a resolution asking Mayor to intervene in the matter.
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Inder Aggarwal, councilor BJP said, Water and sewerage are essential services and if all engineers are transferred in one go, work will be affected. What is the point of transferring engineers who have nothing to do with administration work? We need consistency in working and our engineers going in other cities will not work for three months and theirs will not work here and while away three months. Similar views were echoed by councilors of Congress in the meeting following which Mayor wrote a letter to local bodies department.
Talking to Newsline Mayor Gohalwaria said, It was because of our initiative that whole Punjab would be benefitted from these orders. We have received the letter in which Election commission has directed local bodies department that there is no need to transfer employees of essential services like water and sewerage and who are ‘indirectly’ related to the process. The matter of transfer of ATPs is still pending, he added.
However, the election commission has directed the local bodies department to keep a close vigil on employees ‘indirectly’ related to the process and has made it clear that action will be taken against them in case of complaints during the polls.
Opposing the move, Kamaljeet Singh Soi, president Raahat-NGO working for road safety has now written to chief election commissioner V S Sampath to go ahead with the transfers. Soi said, MC employees are directly in touch with the public and can influence the election process by motivating voters. Not only this, we need new faces in city as all basic services are in pathetic state which shows these officials working from three years here have done nothing. It is completely unfair to stop the transfers.